Until the Whole World Hears
On Casting Crowns’ Until the Whole World Hears leader Mark Hall stays true to his mission, delivering Christ-centered testimony surrounded by cleanly-contoured pop/rock sounds. Mid tempo tunes and ballads predominate here, with Hall’s assertive yet vulnerable vocals setting the tone for the music. Tracks like “If We Ever Needed You,” “At Your Feet” and “Jesus, Hold Me Now” contrast God’s majesty with the fallibility of mankind (Hall included). “Joyful, Joyful” — a contemporary reframing of the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” — is an appealing mixture of classic melody and modern dynamics. While much of the album embraces a contemplative mood, Casting Crowns reclaims the rock punch of earlier albums with the title number, “Holy One” and especially “Shadow of Your Wings,” a blues-tinged track with the riotous energy of a ‘60s garage band tune. Megan Garrett excels during her lead vocal turns, with “Mercy” especially hitting a sweetly reverent note. For those who find uplift and renewal in the band’s past efforts, Until the Whole World Hears makes for inspiring listening.