The Galkin Evangelistic Team and friends have released their album for 2012. “By Faith” includes 16 songs all centered around the idea of those that leave comfort and familiarity and enter alien territory. The entire album and especially the title track express the idea that saints past and present have often demonstrated their faith by executing plans based on “things hoped for” and “the evidence of things not seen.” It’s easy to walk where we can see the path; not so much when the path is invisible.
This new album is a departure from what is usually expected from the Galkin team. The Galkins along with three other families are going to Salt Lake City, Utah to plant a church later this year. The Kopps, Countermans, and Albrights have all felt God’s calling to start a gospel work there in the midst of not only Mormonism but skepticism and agnosticism as well. Since they are all going as a team, the team joined up in Indianapolis to record several of the tracks together. Look for those tracks at the end of the album.
#1 – “By Faith”
The team took a unique approach to this Getty/Townend tune. All the versions that I’ve heard of this song have been slow, plodding, grandiose overtures. With a mandolin, an accordion, and an uptempo beat, they transformed this song into a much more lively statement of faith.
#2 – “Shout Out for Joy”
This song by Paul Keew is a paraphrase or summary of Psalm 66. There are some interesting harmonies in this song. In fact, the harmony for this entire album is really standout to me.
#3 – “The Perfect Wisdom (of our God)”
This Getty/Townend tune has one a bit more difficult rhythmically. It reminds me of “Behold the Lamb” which has some slightly awkward gaps in the lyrics’ rhythm. Still it’s a very memorable tune with a beautiful melody. Our church’s choir has performed this recently, and we are now using it as our worship opener for our Sunday services.
#4 – “Jesus, Thank You.”
The chorus of this song always resonates with me.
Your blood has washed away my sin
Jesus, thank You
The Father’s wrath completely satisfied
Jesus, thank You
Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table
Jesus, thank You
What a fitting description of how we were from the devil’s hand and placed into a place of incredible privilege.
#5 – “Surrender All”
You may think this is a re-tuning of the hymn “I Surrender All.” You would be wrong. This is a great entirely new song written by Rich Dalmas of Sovereign Grace.
#6 – “Lord, Forgive Us”
There is usually one song (at least) on each album that seems like it was added for filler. Unfortunately, this is that track. “Lord, Forgive Us” certainly isn’t a bad song, but it just seems to lack any significant hook lyrically or musically.
#7 – “Beneath the Cross of Jesus”
This is a great departure from the tune you’re used to. A 6/8 time accompanied by a very celtic musical backing gives this hymn an entirely new feel.
#8 – “Whiter than Snow”
This is a beautiful new tune. The orchestration carries an easy, sweeping melody.
#9 – “Sovereign One”
The Galkin team kids get their first solo track! It’s so good to hear songs by children that discuss deep spiritual and doctrinal topics rather than the usual trite “kiddie” things.
#10 – “Faithful God”
We can live by faith because our forever-faithful God is the object of that faith.
I believe You still heal
And demons still bow
I am convinced there is power
In trusting in a faithful God
So I will praise till You appear
And set Your foot upon this shore
I declare that every foe
Is subject to my faithful God
#11 – “Enter Paradise”
Lyrically, this song aligns well with “Jesus, Thank You.” There is a great bridge near the end just before the key change.
#12 – “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”
On “Consider Him,” there was a great new version of “Come, Ye Sinners” that swept me off of my feet with its minor key magic. This track does it for me on “By Faith.” I love the use of the Bodhran (drum) on this track. It has a distinctly Irish sound with what seems to be a 12/8 time signature and a rolling rhythm.
#13-17– “All Creatures of our God and King” – “How Deep” – “All I Have is Christ” – “The Church’s One Foundation”
This begins a string of the last four songs that all include the entire Plant4theGospel team. I love the way these songs are put together. The arrangements are a simple combo of piano and guitar. Although each of them are distinct musically, they seem to blend together from track to track. The first time I heard them, I didn’t even notice the transition until I heard the vocals come in.
The Galkins have done another great job putting together an album of worshipful, cohesive songs that are performed and recorded in excellence. I hope you’ll support them and the Plant4theGospel team by purchasing some or all of these tracks.
Want to hear more or download/buy the CD, get it here.
Strongest track: “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say”
Weakest track: “Lord Forgive Us”
Best new song: “Shout Out for Joy”
Best choir anthem: “The Perfect Wisdom of our God”
Do you already own this album? If so, share your opinion in the comments below.