Shane Barnard and Shane Everett make a different kind
of worship music. With breathless fervor, the duo sing words drenched
in scripture, with all of their energy and passion focused on magnifying
God's greatness. And they've got this great folk/rock thing going on,
Shane Barnard and Shane Everett have made quite a name
for themselves over the past couple of years thanks to their unique
brand of modern worship recordings.
Barnard's talents are many and varied, from the compellingly
honest pleadings of the heart in his lyrics, to the amazing musicianship
that encompasses blistering guitar work and vibrant hammered dulcimer
sounds, to the emotive qualities of his alt/rock vocals. And he knows
how to rock.
Their latest project, Upstairs, was originally recorded
for their fan base, who desired to hear a more stripped-down, acoustic
record from the duo that was reflective of their live shows. Self-produced,
and recorded in just six days, Upstairs may technically be considered
a side project but the quality of what we hear is much more than that.
Psalms, the debut project from singer/songwriter Shane
Barnard and his friend and musician Shane Everett, is a collection of
thirteen of the most artistically fluid, remarkably powerful worship
songs I've ever heard, especially for a new artist.
Psalms is stunning, standing toe-to-toe with the likes
of Caedmon's Call or Downhere in folk/rock intensity and lyrical quality,
while generating a sense of artistic purpose so solid that it's almost
unfathomable for a new artist to be this good, this real, immediately
out of the gate.
I can't remember the last time I was spiritually fed so
fully and satisfyingly by just one album. Psalms is nothing less than
a musical revelation.
For the group's strongest fans, there's very little on
Carry Away that will be unrecognizable -- it's the same fiery guitar
work, the same lyrics melding poetry and biblical truth, the same intense
urgency flowing through their every word and note, the same sense of
tender, worshipful intimacy. It's all here.
What is different this time is that every song on Carry
Away flows out of a single thematic cornerstone: God is better than
anything this world holds. Like author John Piper before them (whose
work largely inspired Carry Away).
Shane & Shane sing about unapologetically spending every
ounce of energy they have chasing after that which is better -- the
unobstructed presence of God.
I've said before that the music of the Shanes is the perfect
soundtrack for attuning your heart to the heart of God, but this time
they've outdone themselves. With profoundly beautiful music like "Mercy
Reigns," "Beauty For Ashes, and the show-stopping, heart-soaring "Be
I can't for the life of me figure out why these two talented
guys never get the amount of attention they deserve. Add to that some
of the most burdening and challenging lyrics you'll ever hear, such
as on "I Want It All," which says "Use me, break me, waste me on You,
Lord / Ruin me, take me, waste me on You / For to die is to live...".
Other songs follow similar themes of achieving complete brokeness in
order to be more fully used by God.
Upstairs contains six new songs and four that are new
versions of old favorites - "Psalm 13," "The Answer," "I Want It All,"
and "Beauty For Ashes." All of the things that the Shane's are known
for are here.
Long-time Shane & Shane fans will eat this one up like
a big bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day. It was, after all, recorded
for them. There's something special about projects that originate as
labors of love for the fans.
Produced by Shane & Shane and Will Hunt, with additional
production on three tracks by Paul Moak, Clean fuses pop, worship and
folk-rock stylings with lyrical detail and irresistible melodies. The
first radio single from the project, "He Is Exalted," is currently climbing
the radio charts in multiple formats.
Clean features seven new songs written by Shane & Shane,
as well as a remake of the timeless classic "He Is Exalted," a new version
of the Shanes' fan-favorite "Yearn" and Shane & Shane's take on the
popular "There Is None Like You."
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