Steve Bell’s latest album, Devotion, is filled with prayer songs. Bell has incorporated his skillful acoustic guitar playing and notable folksy sound with first-rate string arrangements in this album. Devotion has a blend of songs that are easy to sing, and meditative in nature. Stand-out tracks include “Almighty God,” “Everything We Need,” and “Gone is the Light.”
Particularly in “Gone is the Light,” the tensions created in the string arrangements play well on the biblical source of the text. As the song progresses with repetition of “remember me when you enter your kingdom,” the string arrangements reflect the tension between the sorrows of Christ dying and the hope of his new kingdom.
I applaud Bell for his inclusion of “Embrace the Mystery,” a song on the mystery of communion. Whatever side you might find yourself on in the theological debate over communion, we can agree that it’s good to see songwriters addressing the topic. Since so much of the theology that we believe is taught and learned through song, it is imperative that more songwriters reach further and deeper into strong lyric writing, addressing topics and issues that seem to fall by the wayside.
Bell’s strong lyric writing is a major asset. His songs are prayer-like, and though they are repetitive in nature like many contemporary worship songs, they display a theology that is hymn-like.
Steve Bell has found a great balance in his songwriting. The songs are tightly produced and remain accessible to congregations. It is evident that he recorded these tracks in a worshipful posture and that he truly desires his music to be God-centred. Devotionwill lift your spirit, helping you entering into worship, praising God in truth.