|Studio album by|
|Released||January 28, 2014|
|Studio||Zoo Studio (Franklin, TN)|
|Genre||Contemporary Christian, rock|
|Producer||Mark A. Miller|
|Casting Crowns chronology|
|Singles from Thrive|
Thrive (stylized as THRIVE) is the sixth studio album by American contemporary Christian music band Casting Crowns. Released on January 28, 2014 through Beach Street and Reunion Records, the album was produced by Mark A. Miller. Musically, the album, whose concept was inspired by Psalms 1 from the Bible, has a rock and contemporary Christian sound with influences from folk and bluegrass. The album received mostly positive reviews from music critics for its lyrics and musical diversity, but some critics felt that some songs were too similar to the work of other artists or to their own previous work.
Thrive sold 43,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release; although this was short of projections to sell 75,000 copies, it peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart, while also charting in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the UK. The album was preceded by the lead single "All You've Ever Wanted", which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart. It has been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Thrive was recorded at Zoo Studio in Franklin, Tennessee,with producer Mark A. Miller. According to lead vocalist Mark Hall, the idea behind Thrive came from the student ministry he is involved in. As a youth pastor, Hall frequently uses Psalms 1, which metaphorically compares the concept of a righteous man to a prosperous tree planted by a river. Hall said that many people he has talked with are simply surviving, which he feels contrasts with this — he felt that, although hard times can come upon anyone, people are not put in these situations to simply survive through them, but rather to thrive through the adversity. Using the metaphor, Hall noted that, if one were to pull away all the dirt from around a tree, one would find roots digging into the ground in addition to the limbs of the tree reaching out. Hall elaborated that "you need to get your strength from God; you don’t get it on your own. If you’re all limbs, the thorns of life will knock you over. You need to dig your roots in and let God reach out through you". Accordingly, half of the record focuses on 'reaching out', while the other half focuses on 'digging deep'. Hall described the record as being "an effort to draw a picture of what a believer, a follower of Jesus, would look like if they dug into their roots and understood God and themselves more, and then instead of trying to go be Christian for God, they just let God give them chances to be a Christian".
The music on Thrive has been described as contemporary Christian;and rock it was also described as "mid '90s grunge rock with country flair" and the album as having "rock, pop, and worship" songs. Thrive was also noted to have influences from folk and bluegrass at times. The main instruments used on the album include the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and piano. The songs have been called anthems that are intended for people in both jovial and trying times.
The first song on the album, the title track "Thrive", has been described as having a folk pop soundsimilar to Mumford and Sons or Phillip Phillips. The banjo and mandolin are used in its arrangement in addition to electric guitars and backing vocals. "All You've Ever Wanted" is led by a piano riff, and displays an adult contemporary sound similar to much of the rest of the band's discography. "Just Be Held" also incorporates adult contemporary elements, with one critic comparing the song's string arrangement to those on Downton Abbey , while "You Are the Only One" is a worship song. "Broken Together", described as "Coldplay pop", is a piano ballad; the song's protagonist "smashes the facade of a fairy-tale relationship, forgoing the happy ending with the realization that 'maybe you and I were never meant to be complete'".
"Love You with the Truth" is an orchestral rock song,and has been described as a softer version of the music of Skillet. "This Is Now" and "Dream for You" utilize a mix of electric and acoustic guitars, with the latter noted as having a "bluesy" sound. "Follow Me", a ballad with folk influences, is sung by Megan Garrett. "House of Their Dreams" thematically revolves around a family that has pursued material interests at the expense of being together; musically, the song was compared to a softer version of the band's song "American Dream". "Waiting on the Night to Fall" is a warning against Satan, urging listeners not to become complacent.
Prior to the release of Thrive, "All You've Ever Wanted" was released as the album's lead single. 3 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart, No. 10 on the Christian Airplay chart, and No. 2 on the Christian Digital Songs chart. Two other songs were released as downloads prior to the album's release: "Thrive", which peaked at No. 10 on the Christian Songs chart and No. 3 on the Christian Digital Songs chart, and "This Is Now", which peaked at No. 15 on the Christian Songs chart and No. 3 on the Christian Digital Songs chart. Following the release of the album, two other songs ("Broken Together" and "Just Be Held") charted on the Christian Songs chart at No. 45 and 50, respectively.The song was released to Christian AC radio on September 14, 2013 and as a digital download on September 24, 2013. The song has peaked at No.
Thrive was released on January 28, 2014. 1 debut on the Christian Albums chart. The album ultimately sold 43,000 units, debuting at No. 1 on the Christian Albums chart, No. 6 on the Billboard 200, and No. 8 on the Digital Albums chart. It went on to become the best-selling Christian album of 2014, shifting 339,000 copies throughout the year.Billboard projected the album would sell around 75,000 copies in the United States in its first week, enough for a top-ten debut on the Billboard 200 and a No.
The album also charted internationally. It debuted at No. 23 on the Billboard Canadian Albums Chart and No. 52 on the Dutch Albums chart. Although it did not chart on the main UK Albums Chart, it did reach No. 1 on the UK's Official Christian & Gospel Albums Chart; it also appeared on the Australia Hitseekers Albums chart, which ranks the top albums by artists who have not yet reached the top 50 on the main Australian Albums Chart.
|Christian Music Zine|
|Indie Vision Music|
|Jesus Freak Hideout|
|New Release Tuesday|
Thrive received mostly positive reviews from music critics. The album's songwriting and musical diversity were generally praised. Joshua Andre of Christian Music Zine awarded the album four and a half out of five stars, describing the lyrics as "profound" while praising the music as the most innovative and varied the band had put out to date.Lins Honeyman of Cross Rhythms rated the album nine out of ten squares, calling it "outstanding" and praising its musically diversity. He also praised the band, saying they were "refreshingly willing to take a chance and most certainly at the top of the game". Jonathan Andre of Indie Vision Music rated Thrive four out of five stars, calling it the band's "most personal and musically diverse album to date". Kate Padilla of The Daily Reporter praised both the album's songwriting and sound, and felt that the album could be appreciated, regardless of whether or not the buyer listens to Christian radio.
Other critics praised the album's overall quality, both in comparison to the band's previous work and the Christian music genre. Ed Cardinal of Crosswalk.com described Thrive as "top quality" and described the majority of the album was marked by "intensity", and said "It may not be the easiest, breeziest listen... but this album can help fight that dark enemy with every play".Kevin Davis of New Release Tuesday rated Thrive four and a half stars, ranking the album's songs as among the best he had heard from group and saying that it is "sure to be one of the year's best [albums]". Laura Chambers of Christian Music Review rated the album 4.9 out of 5, describing it as "one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time". Although she noted the album covered some lyrical topics the band had discussed before, she felt this was not a bad thing, considering it "less of a rehash and more of a reminder". Jeremy Armstrong of Worship Leader rated Thrive three and a half out of five stars, praising the band as having a "broad appeal" and describing the album as a "fine release". At CM Addict, Brianne Bellomy rated the album four stars out of five, remarking that the release "is another power packed album full of songs that speak to everyone". At About.com, Kim Jones rated Thrive four-and-a-half stars out of five, praising the album as being "delivered with [...] passion" and saying that it has "arrows [pointed] straight to the heart".
Other critics presented a more mixed response; Mark Rice of Jesus Freak Hideout rated the album three out of five stars, arguing it was an improvement over their previous efforts in some respects but feeling it was, for the most part, either "stagnation or regression".Although Piet Levy of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel praised the songwriting, saying it "stands out [...] at times featuring troubled protagonists and earned redemption", he felt several songs sounded too similar to the work of other artists. Brian Mansfield of USA Today rated it two and a half out of four stars, describing the band as "chameleonic" but praising "House of Their Dreams" and "Broken Together".
|1.||"Thrive"||Mark Hall, Matthew West||5:06|
|2.||"All You've Ever Wanted"||Hall, Bernie Herms||4:04|
|3.||"Just Be Held"||Hall, Herms, West||3:41|
|4.||"You Are the Only One"||Blake Bollinger, Hall, Matt Maher||3:47|
|5.||"Broken Together"||Hall, Herms||4:45|
|6.||"Love You With the Truth"||Hall, Herms||4:03|
|7.||"This Is Now"||Hall, West||4:39|
|8.||"Dream for You"||Hall, West||3:58|
|9.||"Follow Me"||Beth Farris||4:12|
|11.||"House of Their Dreams"||Hall||4:22|
|12.||"Waiting on the Night to Fall"||Hall||4:50|
Credits taken from Allmusic
Billboard named the album No. 1 for 2014 on its Christian Albums chart.
|Australian Hitseekers Albums (ARIA)||3|
|Canadian Albums ( Billboard )||23|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||52|
|UK Albums (OCC)||170|
|UK Christian & Gospel Albums (OCC)||1|
|US Billboard 200||6|
|US Christian Albums (Billboard)||1|
|Year||Song||Peak chart positions|
| US Christ ||Christian Airplay|
|2013||"All You've Ever Wanted"||3||10|
|2015||"Just Be Held"||3||2|
Casting Crowns is a contemporary Christian and Christian rock band started in 1999 by youth pastor Mark Hall, who serves as the band's lead vocalist, as part of a youth group at First Baptist Church in Downtown Daytona Beach, Florida. They later moved to Stockbridge, Georgia, and more members joined. Some members of the band currently work as ministers for Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough, Georgia. The band has won a Grammy and a Dove Award.
Lifesong is the second studio album by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns, released on August 30, 2005 by Beach Street Records and Reunion Records. Produced by Mark A. Miller, Lifesong was the follow-up to the band's self-titled debut album. Although the unexpected success of the first album led to tremendous demand for new music from Casting Crowns, lead vocalist Mark Hall was advised by Steven Curtis Chapman and Mac Powell not to worry about commercial expectations. Lifesong, which has a pop rock and adult contemporary sound, focuses on challenging believers and indicting piousness and hypocrisy in the Christian church. Worship themes are also prominent in the album.
"If We Are the Body" is the debut single by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and produced by Mark A. Miller and Steven Curtis Chapman, it was released as the lead single from the band's 2003 self-titled debut album through Beach Street Records on July 26, 2003. The song, originally written by Hall as a "teaching tool" for his youth group, is a CCM and acoustic rock song. It incorporates the violin, mandolin, and accordion in its arrangement and questions why the Christian church does not minister impartially.
"Lifesong" is a song recorded by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released as the lead single from the band's 2005 album of the same name. According to Mark Hall, the lead vocalist of Casting Crowns, "Lifesong" came out of what he found himself saying to students in his church's youth ministry. Compared to the work of rock band U2, the song lyrically points believers towards honoring God in all they do.
The Altar and the Door is the third studio album by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns, released on August 28, 2007 on Beach Street Records and Reunion Records. Produced by Mark A. Miller, the album was inspired by lead singer Mark Hall's experience looking at the MySpace pages of his youth ministry students. The album's main theme is the difference between how Christians feel in church and the compromises they make outside of it. Its musical tone, which Hall says is different and more progressive, incorporates more of a rock sound than their previous, more polished studio efforts.
"East to West" is a song recorded by contemporary Christian band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms and produced by Mark A Miller, it was released as the lead single from the band's 2007 album The Altar and the Door. Lyrically, the song deals with the concept of forgiveness. The song met with a positive to mixed reception from music critics and won two awards at the 39th GMA Dove Awards: Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. It was also nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Performance at the 51st Grammy Awards.
Coming Up to Breathe is the fourth studio album by Christian rock band MercyMe. Released on April 25, 2006, by INO Records, the album was intended by MercyMe to be edgier than their previous albums. Coming Up to Breathe sold 58,000 copies its first week, MercyMe's biggest sales week at the time. It debuted and peaked at number one on the Billboard Christian Albums chart, number five on the Rock Albums chart, and number thirteen on the Billboard 200. It also appeared on the Alternative Albums chart in 2007, peaking at number thirteen. Coming Up to Breathe was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 2007, signifying shipments of over 500,000 copies.
"Does Anybody Hear Her" is a song recorded by Christian rock band Casting Crowns, released by Beach Street Records, Reunion Records, and Provident Label Group. Written by Mark Hall and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released on September 23, 2006 as the third single from the band's 2005 album Lifesong. An alternative CCM and adult contemporary song, "Does Anybody Hear Her" relates the story of a girl who is being pushed away by the Christian church as well as the message that condemning other people is wrong.
"Praise You In This Storm" is a song recorded by contemporary Christian music band Casting Crowns, released by Beach Street and Reunion Records. Written by Mark Hall and Bernie Herms and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released on January 28, 2006 as the second radio single from the band's 2005 album Lifesong. Inspired by the band's experience with a girl, Erin Browning, who died of cancer, the song has the lyrical theme of maintaining faith through difficult circumstances. A power ballad, "Praise You In This Storm" incorporates a wall of sound dynamic into its alternative CCM and adult alternative sound.
Peace on Earth is the first Christmas album by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Produced by Mark Hall and Mark A. Miller, it was released on October 7, 2008. Intended by Hall to bring out the worshipful aspect of Christmas, the album does not have songs relating to secular Christmas traditions, instead featuring a mix of traditional Christmas carols and original songs. As co-producer, Hall attempted to differentiate the album from their previous ones by attempting to use creative ideas they had not tried before, and he also wanted to utilize the band's female members in a broader and more visible role on the album.
"Slow Fade" is a song by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall, it was released as the third single from Casting Crowns' 2007 studio album The Altar and the Door. Written after the public falls from grace of several church leaders, "Slow Fade" is a cautionary tale against making the wrong choices. It was positively received by music critics, who praised the song's lyrical theme.
Until the Whole World Hears is the fourth studio album by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Released on November 17, 2009, the album was produced by Mark. A Miller and features a sound that has been described as 'pure American rock', 'soft adult contemporary', and 'CCM'. Lyrically, the album discusses Christian subjects such as God, Jesus, and salvation, with several songs being reinventions of classic hymns. Until the Whole World Hears sold over 167,000 copies in its first week, Casting Crowns' highest sales week to date, and debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and at No. 1 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart. In the United States, the album ranked as the 37th best-selling album of 2010 and the 137th best-selling album of 2011; it ranked as the first and third best-selling Christian album in those years, respectively. It has sold over 1.1 million copies and been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
"Until the Whole World Hears" is a song by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall, Bernie Herms, Jason McArthur and Roger Glidewell and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released as a digital download on August 20, 2009 and to Christian radio on August 29, 2009 as the lead single from the band's 2009 album of the same title. Musically, Until the Whole World Hears is an arena rock song with a crunchy guitar lick accompanied by blasting guitar chords and the "throaty growl" of Mark Hall's vocals. Lyrically, it revolves around speaking the truth into a culture that doesn't want to hear it. Part of the chorus references the Biblical character of John the Baptist.
Move is the tenth studio album by Christian rock band Third Day. Released on October 19, 2010, the album was the band's first after guitarist Brad Avery left Third Day. The band wanted the album to be a departure from the modern rock stylings of Revelation (2008), intending to show more of their southern rock roots. Third Day chose to work with producer Paul Moak on the album and recorded it at their own studio, feeling it offered them more creative freedom. Primarily a southern rock album, Move also has significant influence from gospel music.
The discography of Casting Crowns, an American Christian rock band, consists of eight studio albums, two independent albums, two holiday albums, five live albums, and 24 singles. Casting Crowns was formed in 1999 as a student worship band in Daytona Beach, Florida, with a lineup consisting of Mark Hall (vocals), Melodee DeVevo (violin), Juan DeVevo (guitars) and Hector Cervantes (guitars). The band relocated to McDonough, Georgia in 2001 and added Chris Huffman, Megan Garrett (keyboard) and Andy Williams (drums). The band released two independent records, one of which was discovered by Mark Miller, a country musician. Miller signed the band to his record label, Beach Street Records, a division of Reunion Records.
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"Courageous" is a song by contemporary Christian music band Casting Crowns, released by Beach Street Records, Reunion Records, and Provident Label Group. Written by Mark Hall and Matthew West and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released on July 19, 2011 as the first single from the band's 2011 album Come to the Well. Hall has said the inspiration for the song was at the National Day of Prayer breakfast in 2008. A rock, pop rock and soft rock song, it calls fathers to be better spiritual leaders.
"Lift Up Your Face" is a song recorded by the Christian rock band Third Day and featuring vocals from The Blind Boys of Alabama. Written by Mac Powell and composed by Third Day, Bo Rinehard, and Bear Rinehard, it was released to Christian AC and CHR radio on July 11, 2010 as the lead single from Third Day's 2010 studio album Move. "Lift Up Your Face" is a southern rock song with influences from blues and gospel, possessing a shadowy and edgy sound accompanied by distorted guitars. Dark and soulful vocals are also present, while the lyrics convey a message of encouragement and hope.
"Jesus, Friend of Sinners" is a song by American Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and Matthew West and produced by Mark A. Miller, it was released as the second single from the band's 2011 album Come to the Well. The song has been regarded musically as a "pop hymn" and lyrically "admonishes the church to show compassion".
"Already There" is a song by American Christian music group Casting Crowns. The song was written by lead singer, Mark Hall, along with Matthew West and Bernie Herms.