We Shall Not Be Shaken
Matt Redman's newest release, We Shall Not Be Shaken, was written fresh off the 2008 Passion World Tour (seventeen cities) and in the face of today's global financial meltdown.
Replete with U2-esque instrumentation, the pulsating title track proclaims: "Nations could be quaking, economies failing. When fear is found all around, You're the solid ground," inviting the church to put its faith in something infinitely greater than the headlines.
"This album praises God's steadiness," Matt says. "We're being reminded how shakable earthly things are: job losses, home foreclosures. When we traveled to Korea, there were high profile suicides due to the failing marketplace. So it feels appropriate now to address the economy in a worship song. Nothing in the Psalms was ever detached from its era."
We Shall Not Be Shaken is intentionally Psalm-like, using simple poetic lyrics to express unbreakable truth in an age of utter brokenness. Working with producer Robert Marvin (Mat Kearney) and writer Jonas Myrin (Steven Curtis Chapman, Natasha Bedingfield), Redman penned several songs to center listeners on God's unmatchable constancy.
"Through It All" transforms a cascading melody during the verse into a soaring anthem in the chorus, declaring: "Through it all You are strong. As we walk through the shadows still You shine on." Just as certain and celebratory is "How Great Is Your Faithfulness", which concurs: "Everything changes, but You stay the same. Your word and kingdom endure."
"In this world there are so many empty promises. But God always does what He says He will do," explains Matt. "I want that truth to really connect with people's lives. That's the highest compliment for a songwriter, to have helped someone understand what they were feeling but didn't quite know how to say. I want biblical certainty embedded in them."
The goal of spiritual confidence points to the other key focus on "We Shall Not Be Shaken," the centrality of Jesus and the cross. First single "This Is How We Know," co-written with Redman's wife, Beth, seamlessly blends the message of John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16.
"This is how we know what love is; just one look at Your cross . . . For You so loved the world that You gave Your only Son. Love amazing, so divine, we will love You in return."
"You Alone Can Rescue", another cross-themed song has already been around the world. A song of declaration and freedom, Matt led it in 15 countries in 2008 including on the Passion World Tour in London, Paris and Seoul, where thousands of university students declared its truth together, We lift up our eyes, we lift up our eyes, You're the giver of life?
Likewise, "For Your Glory" sounds fit for a congregational or, perhaps even better, a stadium-sized sing-along, jubilantly shouting: "Your cross is the hope that we hold up high as we tell the whole world of Your love and life. We will dance for Your glory, Lord."
Among Matt's favorite tracks on the new album is "Remembrance (Communion Song)", which fulfills his long-held desire to write specifically for the ceremonial Lord's Supper.
"I'd never written about the cross from that angle," he says. "But I love old hymns in this genre, and we even worked some words from a Eucharist liturgy into the piece: 'Dying, You destroyed our death. Rising, You restored our life. Lord Jesus, come in glory."
"My Hope" unites the set's themes, combining words from 1834's "On Christ "the Solid Rock" with Redman's lyrics: Though every kingdom be shaken, still I will rest in You."
1. This Is How We Know
2. We Shall Not Be Shaken
3. Through It All
4. You Alone Can Rescue
5. The Glory Of Our King
6. How Great Is Your Faithfulness
7. Remembrance (Communion Song)
8. The More We See
9. For Your Glory
11. All That Really Matters
12. My Hope