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Record Label: Integrity Music
Released: August 19, 2014
Reviewer: Michelle C. Danko
Many thanks to Shannon Walker from Integrity Music who provided us with a copy of this incredible new CD[/column]
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Lincoln Brewster- Oxygen
Lincoln Brewster’s career has spanned over a decade producing Christian music. Lincoln Brewster has performed many chart-topping hits such as “Today is the Day”, “God You Reign”, “Everlasting God”, and many more. Brewster is known for his pop-rock sound, and his impactful lyrics.
The album, Oxygen, comes after a four-year break wherein Brewster balanced raising his children, his position as Worship Arts with Bayside Church, seminary classes and touring. He describes this season of life as a “whirlwind”- something that most of us can identify with!
Four days into recording a new album, Brewster received news that caused his world to come to a screeching halt. Lincoln’s wife of twenty years and high school sweetheart, Laura, was diagnosed with a rare form of appendiceal cancer. Suddenly, they found themselves praying for a miracle.
Eventually, Laura was diagnoses as being cancer free. During this process, Oxygen was born ironically at a time when the Brewsters felt as if the wind had been knocked out of them. While Lincoln Brewster felt that his focus should be on his wife, he claims that God told him to put one foot in front of the other and keep on going. Oxygen captures that time of tension, the release of uncertainty, and, of course, God’s faithfulness.
Oxygen is said to “declare worship that meets us in our brokenness, and brings us back to life.”
Oxygen is not an album where fans will only want just a few songs. All of the songs on this album are phenomenal both musically and lyrically. Listeners will find themselves drawn to the beat, and ministered to with the lyrics. The message is so crystal clear- that the Lord is our strength, and as the lyrics state, “We need Him more than oxygen”.
It is an album of strength, endurance, and unwavering faith.
“Live to Praise You” is about lifting your praises up to the Lord. However, it is not just a message about praising the Lord with your words, it’s about praising the Lord with your entire being- praising out of your heart to a Lord who has rescued us, and who is our strength.
“Oxygen” was written by both Lincoln Brewster and Mia Fieldes. It is about how God is our number one, and that we need Him more in our lives than we need to breathe. It is about how we should be dependent on God for everything in our lives, and that we are to give ourselves over to Him. He will guide our steps, His love will heal us, and His voice will lead us.
“Made New” seems to be inspired by Psalm 23 and was written by Josiah Meeker, Colby Wedgeworth and Lincoln Brewster. It is about seeking refuge in the Lord, that there is nothing to fear, and that the Lord will give you peace if you rest in Him.
“There is Power” is about the effectiveness of prayer, and the authority of the name of Jesus to break what holds us in bondage, and that we are saved by our declaration (prayer) of salvation. It discusses the power in the name of Jesus to bring change, dispel fear, and to help us overcome circumstances that press against us. All you need is faith, and the name of Jesus.
“On our Side” imparts to the believer that God is always on our side when we go through trials and the storms of life. He is always there. All we need to do is stand on His word, activate our faith, and trust that God will pull us through. The song goes deeper, though, and talks about God’s unwavering love for His children. Even though we may feel broken, God will always restore us. God’s love will never change even if we fail. He loves us unconditionally.
“You Never Stop” is probably one of the most impactful songs in terms of its message. It is about God’s unending love. God pursues us when we are far from Him. God will always reach out for us much like is described in John 10- He knows His sheep by name. It describes a love that reaches us in a time of need, darkness, and despair. It encourages the believer that God is always there with His peace and love to surround and envelope us with His strength.
“Let it be Known” is a strong song of praise. It is about not just singing a song of praise, but shouting it out- and that’s exactly what it makes the listener want to do. It is shouting out our praises, that we have a good God who makes everyday new, and to proclaim His goodness to the entire world.
“Sinking Ships (Rescue has Come)” describes a time in which all of us has faced. It is a season when we feel like we are drowning in sorrow, or a feeling of sinking when we are faced with adversity. It comes at a time when we are overwhelmed with events that have transpired. Sinking Ships tells us to cast our cares unto the Lord, and to hold on- to never give up. God is by your side in the midst of your struggles- He will not forsake you- and He will carry you to safety. He will rescue you.
“Whole Again (Come Alive)” talks about how in our brokenness, God will heal and restore us.
“Heartbeat” interestingly enough, is almost written exactly like a heartbeat lyrically. It is about a oneness with God that is so intimate, that it is like two hearts beating as one. It is a relationship that many of us strive to attain- one of intimacy, dependence, and depth.
“Shout it Out” describes God’s goodness and salvation. It is about living in freedom through Christ- that the chains that bind us can be broken so that we can live in victory. It is about darkness being dispelled, and a new life bursting forth in Him. It personifies the feelings of a new believer who has given their life to Christ and the feelings of “lightness” that they experience. They are no longer burdened by their past and walking in darkness, but rather are a made a new creation. This elation gives every believer every reason to shout out praises to the King.
Personally, I loved the album from start to finish. It was one of those incredible “finds” wherein just a few songs won’t due. Each song is intricately entwined and almost leads the listener through a wonderful process from brokenness back to wholeness again. All of the songs not only resonate lyrically, but are backed with music that draws the listener in. The slower songs are melodic, and the up tempo songs are catchy. Listeners will find themselves continually singing the lyrics throughout the day- they stay with you.
Purchasing just a few of the songs would be an injustice to the message brought forth in the album. I would strongly recommend purchasing the entire CD. You will NOT be sorry you did!
My rating is an emphatic five out of five. I have never heard a message so strong, so incredible, nor music so impactful. It is also scripturally and doctrinally sound. Many Christians will be blessed by it.