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on January 28, 2014
I have been a big fan of Casting Crowns since their debut album. They are by far my favorite Christian group out there, and at their best Casting Crowns has always been in a whole different league than all the other Contemporary Christian Music out there. "The Altar And The Door" and "Lifesong" have always been my favorite Casting Crowns album...with "Thrive" now ranking right up there. (I can't pick a favorite between the three) "Thrive" is such an incredible surprise, because I really thought Casting Crowns was on the decline. "Until The Whole World Hears" was a great worship album, but "Come To The Well" left me a bit disappointed. "Come To The Well" had some great songs on it, but overall it just didn't measure up to their earlier efforts for me. But Thrive is easily among my favorite Casting Crowns albums.

Thrive - 3.5/5 - Thrive is a great worship song that sounds like something that would have been on "Come To The Well". It isn't bad in the least...it is a well written worship song, but it is one of my least favorite on an amazing album.

All You Ever Wanted - 4.5/5 - The first single off "Thrive", "All You Ever Wanted", is a great song with interesting instrumentation, that brings back the rock edge that was missing on "Come To The Well". This is a well written song about how we try to do things through our human doing that God has already accomplished, that all God wants is our heart. "

Just Be Held - 4.5/5 - A very encouraging power ballad that reminds us through the hard times that "Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place. I'm on the throne, stop holding on, and just be held. If your eyes are on the storm, you'll wonder if I love you still. But if your eyes are on the cross, you'll know I always have and I always will."

You Are The Only One - 3.5/5 - A good worship song, but this is one of my least favorite songs on the album (along with "Thrive").

Broken Together - 5/5 - A hauntingly beautiful ballad that Mark wrote about a marriage that is not the fairytale that had been envisioned. "How I wish we could go back to simpler times, before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light. Now on this hallowed ground, we've drawn the battle lines. Will we make it through the night? Its going to take much more than promises this time. Only God can change our minds. Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete, could we just be broken together? If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine, could healing still be spoken and save us? The only way we'll last forever is broken together."

Love You With The Truth - 5/5 - Musically, this is a very interesting song. It has a heavy rock edge (it is easily the heaviest song on the album), and it builds in intensity through the first verse and chorus until getting real heavy in the second verse and chorus. This is an impeccably written song about being afraid to preach the Gospel to a friend that is an unbeliever over the fear that it may ruin the friendship. "How I've prayed for this moment. That you would finally see that God is more than religion, a stained-glass fantasy.
And how I've prayed for the courage, for my silent faith to speak. Or that God would just send you a better friend than me"

This Is Now - 5/5 - This Is Now is another very interesting song musically. It is a power ballad that again has that rock edge that is present on much of this album (and had been largely lacking on their previous album). It also has what is in my opinion the catchiest chorus on the album. This is a song about the Biblical story of Peter. Even after seeing all these miraculous things; a blind man looking his Savior in the eyes...watching a dead man rise to life...then walking on the water toward Jesus, he became frightened by the strong wind. "And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him and said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt? (Matthew 14:31) Even after witnessing all of these miracles, he doubted the Lord. Likewise in our experience, even after seeing the Lord work many miracles in our own life, all it takes is a gust of wind to cause the doubt to sink in.

Dream For You - 5/5 - Dream For You is an excellent song that uses the Biblical stories of David and Mary to remind us that the plans God has for our lives far surpass our own dreams. Thus, we should let go of our own plans and simply pray to the Lord to guide us towards the perfect plan He has for our life. Just look at the contrast in the song at the dreams David had for his life, and the plans God had for him. "Hey, David, I hear you've been dreaming. About being a big time shepherd some day. You're gonna prove your brothers wrong. You're gonna sing your shepherd song to the cattle on a thousand hills. But I've been thinking, I'm having trouble with a giant down the road. You're the one who's going to face him toe to toe. Wipe that grin right off his face, and whip this army into shape. I'm going to turn the nation back to Me. And David, you're right about one thing. Your little shepherd songs are going to make the whole world sing. And I'm gonna make you king."

Follow Me - 4.5/5 - A very soothing ballad that reminds us that Christ is our everything. Just follow Him. "At the end of myself, I've done things my own way. This world gave up on me, now it's death I do pay. You know who I am, I'm sins sacrifice. Today you will be, in paradise. At the end of yourself, just follow Me.
When you lose everything, just follow Me. I will give you new life, just follow Me."

Heroes - 4/5 - Heroes for me is really a mixed bag. The first verse of the song is a story about a mother whose husband of thirteen years walked out on her leaving her to provide for her family alone. This is not a particularly original story, and the chorus feels unoriginal as well. ("These are the heroes, just ordinary people. Laying down their lives, like angels in disguise.) The second verse, however, is phenomenal. "He walks the halls, against the flow. He sees his high school as his mission field, he's broken cause he knows.
The hopeless road that they are taking, the empty feelings they are chasing; only lead to futures wasted.
So he's willing to stand alone. He lives what he believes when they all say it's not worth believing.
Every night on his knees, he prays God, won't You please help me reach them?" So, for the most part Heroes for me is just an "okay" song. However, the second verse propels Heroes to some extraordinary places in songwriting. I was torn between 3.5 and 4 stars on this one.

House Of Their Dreams - 5/5 - House Of Their Dreams is an amazing ballad about a family that is disconnected from one another, and from the Lord. This family represents many families in America that need this song as a reminder to build their house on the Rock. "Now they're trapped in their own worlds, in their own wars. With their cell phones, and the closed doors. It's funny how quiet and peaceful that it seems. But they're all alone together in the house of their dreams"

Waiting On The Night To Fall - 10/5 - Then we get to Waiting On The Night To Fall, which is probably my favorite song by Casting Crowns (ever). Easily the ultimate high point on an album full of many high points. Musically this is a haunting ballad that grows in intensity throughout the song to an explosive climax. This is an incredible song about how the Devil attacks believers that are lacking in Christ. The Biblical depth of this song is incredible. Every time I listened to it I caught something else I didn't catch the first time. "As the Sun goes down he rises with a smile, he's waiting on the night to fall"...Christ is light, and the Sun going down to me would mean a believer not taking Christ as their everything...making them vulnerable to Satans attacks. "He knows you have the answers, but Truth lies dusty on your shelf. And the sword that you could slay him with, has become an ornament and nothing else." The Truth of course is the Word of God, which for many so called Christians unfortunately lies dusty on their shelf, meaning they aren't taking in the Word of God. For these Christians, they are simply Christians for show. Christ has become nothing more than an ornament.
"He knows he'll never have your soul (proving this song is written about believers, and not the unbelievers), but he will gladly rob you blind. While you're feasting at his table (Satan was made ruler of the world, so to feast at his table to me would mean to become of the world and the Satanic things of the world), he'll tie your hands and numb your mind. He'll take you farther than you want to go. He'll keep you longer than you want to stay. And it will cost you, more than you ever thought you'd pay. He's waiting on the night to fall. The old man is coming to call. But you don't see the writing on the wall. He'll never step out in the light. No, he's just biding time. And while you slumber, he's going to come and take it all. He's waiting on the night to fall."
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on January 28, 2014
I have really enjoyed listening to this new album! There are more low-key, relaxing songs on this album. It is different from most of their other albums, but it really does stand on it's own two feet. Even if it doesn't appeal to every person as a whole, I would say there is at least one song for everyone.

The first release of 'All You've Ever Wanted' is a fantastic song for self reflection. A wonderful addition to our collection of Casting Crowns albums! It's a great reminder that Jesus has already died for our shortcomings and mistakes, and that we don't have to punish ourselves. We simply need to lead as examples and accept God, he has already forgiven us. It is a fabulous song for families to explain to kids how to rely on God, and accept his forgiveness.

'Dream For You' is so much fun to listen to, it tells David's and Mary's stories of how they put their future in God's hands, it's pretty upbeat and fun. One of the heavier, powerful songs on the album would be 'Love You With the Truth', and it really is fantastic.

Another song I have been enjoying is 'Waiting on the Night to Fall'. It really shows Mark Hall's range, and the lyrics are moving even if it is slower. 'Just Be Held' is favorite song of my kids, they have really been enjoying the new music, too!

The whole CD is loaded with moving, engaging lyrics that reach your heart. The thing I have noticed about Casting Crowns albums over the years, is that there is always a theme or style common within the songs. This album just is on the more relaxing end of the spectrum, and definitely worth a listen. I really look forward to more of their music, as always!
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on January 28, 2014
Atlanta-based Casting Crowns has consistently delivered music that points believers back to what truly matters, and the band does so yet again with Thrive. The album includes twelve new songs that connect to lead singer Mark Hall's new devotional book of the same title, which is divided into sections exploring the themes of digging deep and reaching out.

The energetic and infectious title track "Thrive" establishes the thesis statements of the album with the lyrics "Into Your Word we're digging deep to know our Father's heart / into the world we're reaching out to show them who You are." The entire album and book is inspired by Psalm 1, which states: "But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season…"

"To Know You," which is based on Philippians 3:8, has a similar theme. The song celebrates what it means to know Jesus: it's to know His Word and have a personal relationship with Him, as sung with the words "Just to know You and make You known we lift Your name on high." That's a great way of expressing what it means to thrive.

As Christians, our daily walk is about knowing Jesus and making Him known. The song "You Are The Only One" expresses this truth in its lyrics: "I want to know You more / I want to make You known / I want this world to see that You're alive in me." We are all the hands and feet of Jesus, and we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

Lead singer Mark Hall writes and sings some of the best lyrics in the business. Often, he sings about not being content with where we are but getting to be where we should be as displayed in previously released song "Somewhere in the Middle."

That theme continues with the excellent song "All You've Ever Wanted," which has a clever inclusion of classic Crowns song titles "The Altar and the Door" and "Here I Go Again" in the lyrics. Like those songs, this song deals with our struggle with failure, the Enemy's biggest trick. On page 115 of the book Thrive, Mark Hall says "We fail because we take a God-given need and try to fill it with the world's answer. That's what sin is." The song answers that struggle with the declaration: "So I'll stop living off of how I feel / And start standing on Your truth revealed / Jesus is my strength, my shield / And He will never fail me."

"Love You With the Truth," co-written with Bernie Herms, is another stand-out song with a challenging and uplifting refrain: "Jesus is the Truth, the Life, the Way / When we love, we earn the right to speak the Truth / when we speak Truth we show the world we truly love… / let my life and my words be the proof / I'm gonna love you with the Truth."

"This Is Now" was co-written with Matthew West, and is another biblically based song with a yearning, prayerful chorus reflecting believers and Peter's doubt. "This is now, I wish I could go back but I don't know how / I remember when I stood my ground, I swore I'd never let You down / I want to be that man again, but that was then, this is now," the lyrics admit. The song switches to the Person of Jesus reassuring us that "My child I bore your Cross, I wore your crown / When you couldn't come to Me, My Love came down, so take My hand, I'll lead you out, that was then, this is now."

There are a few soul-stirring ballads on the album, including "Broken Together," "Follow Me" (sung by Megan Garrett and one of my all-time favorite Crowns songs) and "House of Their Dreams." Mark Hall grew up with dyslexia and God called him to write and sing songs, which led to "Voice of Truth." Hall's personal story and stirring songs challenge listeners in times of self-doubt to listen to "the voice of Truth."

Each song displays the signature tenderness and sensitivity that listeners have come to love about this band with lyrics including the poignant "Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete, could we just be broken together?" I lose it at the end of "House of Their Dreams" when Hall sings "As Daddy prays we're trapped in our own worlds, with our own wars, with our cell phones and our closed doors / God only You can save our family, and on this Rock we'll build / on this Rock we'll build, the house of our dreams." That's one of the best family restoration songs I've ever heard, born from Casting Crowns' commitment to families.

Closing Thoughts (Staff Review, NewReleaseTuesday.com)
The Christian walk is a balance of knowing God's Word and being the hands and feet of Jesus, which is what the band has demonstrated in an unwavering commitment to singing songs about. I've always greatly respected their music ministry and have come to cherish that focus. In this era of lyrical ambiguity, it is refreshing when an artist wears their heart on their sleeves. Every song points to the goals of the devotional book and album Thrive, which is to encourage Christians to have a faith grounded in the Truth of the Bible and to live out the words of James 4:17 (NKJV): "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

This album is all about encouraging listeners that we can do more than just survive, we were made to thrive. These songs are an excellent companion for those looking to go deeper than just consuming music and instead want to experience the Truth of God's Word washing over you. Once you allow that indwelling, you can't help but want to "speak the Truth in love," which has been a hallmark of this award-winning band.

These are some of the best songs I've heard from this anointed band, and you'll want to replay this album over and over. All of the songs display excellent examples of digging deep into the Bible and then reaching out and sharing the love of Jesus. Thrive is sure to be one of the year's best.
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on May 8, 2016
I'm never disappointed with their albums, and this one is no exception! I would consider it one of the best, even compared to Lifesong...if you're a Casting Crowns fan, buy it and be prepared for some Jesus time.
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on November 30, 2015
I love this group soo much. I adore their first album. I never was overly impressed with their following albums but this one rivals their original. I love praise/worship music, but what I love most about Casting Crowns are their lyrics. Their songs are inspirational and have wonderful messages. Messages that we all need to hear. My husband and I both love this album and I'm happy to have it in our collection.
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on July 21, 2016
Wow, what strong music. Such a find. Thank you so much for this album! Wish I could find better works to convey my thoughts on this, but those are what come to mind at this time. I didn't want to go with the standard "powerful" and "great message". Those don't show the uniqueness of what I hear every time I listen.
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on January 30, 2015
I highly recommend this album!

Casting Crowns has been a Christian rock powerhouse band that appealed to the younger Christians. Their songs and sound were familiar, and, when you picked up one of Casting Crowns' albums, you knew what you were getting.

This album surprised me, all in good ways.

The songs take on themes that hit middle aged adults like adultery, addictions, and subtle temptations. Waiting for Dark to Fall was my favorite song on this album, but as a single dad I related to Heroes, and House of Their Dreams speaks to a huge and growing population of Christians in the US and Europe.

If you only buy one Christian Rock album this year, this should be the one you choose.
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on May 12, 2014
I like the cd, but I can't say it is my favorite from Casting Crowns. I have a bit of an aversion to country music, and this album is VERY country. Not what I was expecting, but the lyrics are great.... as expected.
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on May 9, 2015
Huge Casting Crowns fan here! Just saw them live for their Thrive tour and it was AWESOME! Definitely recommend seeing them live if you can. They sound just as phenomenal as they do on CD. What a powerful ministry! Their lyrics are deep and really speak to your heart. Especially love the songs "Thrive" and "Broken Together" but the whole album is wonderful!
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on July 18, 2015
This is my favorite CD so far by this group. It has such amazing songs with words that truly get you thinking about God and worshipping him. The ties to scripture are amazing and send chills down my spine. If you like this group, then this CD is a must buy.
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