Long-time fans eagerly await new album after ten years!

Called is the pop Christian vocal group, Avalon’s, first new album in ten years. For fans, it is a much-anticipated album. Avalon is the new flagship artist for Red Street Records, which is run by Rascal Flatts’ bass player, Jay DeMarcus.  This album offers powerful praise and worship, as well as up-tempo songs that are catchy and fun. It also offers glimpses of getting to know God that could help believers who are just starting out in their faith journey. This album can help people understand who God is and what He has done for them. It truly offers something for everyone.

Track List For Avalon’s Called:

Promise Keepers, Avalon

Called

“Called” as the title track of this new album gives a glimpse into the message that Avalon has been conveying since their start as a band in the late 90s. Their message is that they are called to tell others about God. This song tells us how we are all called to go tell others about God no matter what it might cost us.

Jody McBrayer leads the song with his powerhouse vocals. I love the message in it. To hear Jody singing with Avalon again is incredible. The harmonies of Janna, Dani and Greg add a rich texture to the song and I can’t help but sing along. All members of Avalon soar in their vocal harmonies. Just when you think it can’t get any better, the chorus switches to an even higher key with Janna finishing it beautifully.

Keeper Of My Heart

I enjoyed listening to “Keeper of My Heart” as it had an awesome electric pop sound to it.  It has such a powerful message lyrically. Greg Long leads it with strong vocals and the rest of the group does a terrific job harmonizing with him. It is so catchy that you can’t help but dance to it whenever you hear it. The song gives you an inside look as to who Jesus is and how He holds your heart, as they sing “nothing compares to how you love me”. It’s so true.

 “Keeper Of My Heart” has such a catchy beat and reminds me of Avalon’s pop hit, “Testify To Love” from the late 90s. The chorus describes God as the keeper of our hearts and father of the stars. He called us His own. It also reminds us of everything He has done for us, and that nothing will ever compare to His love for us. It also says that God teaches us how to let go of the plans we have for our lives and let God lead us in life. 

The second verse talks about seeing the bigger picture of our future instead of focusing on what’s just in front of us. The bridge goes into saying that God is for us even when we are at our worst and when we are at our best. Even when we have nothing left and feel like we can’t go on in life, God is always for us.

Closer

“Closer” reminds me of Avalon’s hit song, “Everything To Me”.  It has a catchy beat that grabs your attention instantly. Dani Rocca does a beautiful job conveying the message that no matter what you may be going through, it is never too late to turn to God. This song reminds us that our future is bright because we know we will see God one day when we get to Heaven. It also reminds us that no matter what, we will make it through any situation.

The second verse gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to have God’s strength within us. “Nothin’ in your way. There’s a way, now you can see it…” Every trial brings us closer to God instead of farther away from Him. He pulls us closer to Him every day. He pursues us. The lyrics in the bridge include, “No matter how far wherever you are, you’re getting closer”. It reminds us that no matter how far away we feel from God, we’re never far away from Him. This song is a beautiful reminder that God is always close to us.

Only One

 “Only One” was so impactful as it contains a message of hope in an era where many people question whether God is real. It tells us the truth of His message. It describes who Jesus is and who He is to us. We know that there’s only one God, one truth, and only one name that saves us. Jesus is the only king that our hearts should ever bow to. 

The second verse of the song goes into a higher key. It talks about letting us bringing our chains and wounds and letting God heal us. “Let the power of your shame meet the power of His name”, paints a powerful picture of how Jesus can save you from your past mistakes. This song reminds us that there is no one like God and tells the hard-hitting truth that God is the only person we should ever worship. I love the message this song contains. We can play it for anyone who has questions about God and it might open their eyes.

If Not For Jesus

“If Not For Jesus”, paints a beautiful picture of what our lives could’ve been like if it hadn’t been for Jesus saving us. It reminds us how blessed we all are to know Jesus. The lyrics tell us, “If not for Jesus there’s no way I would know love and freedom…I don’t want to imagine this heart inside of me and the person I might be if not for Jesus”. Janna Long sings it with such passion that you can feel it touching your soul whenever you listen to it.  I love that they added, “it’s easy to see and hard to believe that He’s still saving me” into the second verse. 

The harmonies of Greg, Jody, and Dani really add beauty to the song. It’s one of my favorites on the new album. I love the raw emotion of it and the honest look at life, with and without Jesus in it. The lyrics add a subtle shock and awe aspect of it when we think about how different our lives could have been without Jesus. It helps us remember how blessed we all are to have a relationship with Jesus. The bridge says we can use every breath that we have within us, to tell how amazing Jesus is. 

Great Is The Lord Our God

“Great is The Lord Our God” Is a powerful worship song. I can hear it being used in many worship services for years to come. It tells of how great God is by saying that we see His glory in everyday life. There is no one like Him, and that not one rival contends against Him, which is true. The second verse says “our holy king we give you glory.” Dani’s beautiful vocals on this song remind me of Mandisa’s. The bridge describes who God is with, “Alpha, Omega, beginning and end, savior, defender, Jesus, redeemer, and friend.” It reminds us that Jesus is “our refuge and fortress” no matter what storm we may be facing. There is also freedom forever in Him.

I love this song because it reminds me of how powerful God is. I love the picture it paints about God and Jesus as my savior. It reminds me that I can rest in the promise that God is the warrior of my life.

Sacred Ground

“Sacred Ground”- This song opens with talking about Jesus on the cross and how the hill of Calvary – a place of sin and shame, became a sacred place. Jesus was blameless and came to save us from sin. It continues talking about how every knee will bow to worship Jesus on sacred ground. I think it could be referring to when the centurion saw how Jesus died and said, “truly this man was the son of God.” (Mark 15:39) The chorus tells us the different names of Jesus such as Emmanuel, the Lamb who was slain.

The second stanza goes on to describe what the disciples had witnessed on Good Friday-pain, fear, indescribable loss, thinking that they lost their best friend and their teacher-Jesus. But it goes on to say that evil’s reign was finished when heaven rolled the stone away. With Jesus rising from the dead, the empty tomb also became sacred ground. 

Then the bridge describes our lives with knowing Jesus and how that completely changes us- “from death to life, from lost to find you made our hearts your sacred ground”. It also points out that “to sin and death we are no longer bound.” 

Our rescued souls are sacred ground to Jesus. I love this song because it paints a deeply personal picture of Jesus suffering on Good Friday. Then it gives us an inside look at what the disciples must have felt after Jesus died.

Then it goes into the wonderful news of hearing that Jesus rose from the dead three days later. It describes how Calvary, the tomb, and even our own hearts are sacred ground. It is a wonderful thought that our own hearts could be considered sacred to Jesus. It tells us how much Jesus loved us to die for us and to pursue us with His love. I could see this song being performed at church during Lent and on Easter Sunday. 

Lanterns

“Lanterns”- This song describes our longing for there to be more in life. It talks about our longing for Jesus. It reminds us that we never carry our days on our own. God will light our way of telling everyone about Jesus, but it’s up to us to remember the weight of the commitment of being so much more and with being lights for Jesus. The chorus talks about Jesus lighting our way every day with our lanterns of faith on. 

The second verse describes our walk with the Lord without questioning or doubt. We know our day has come to talk about Jesus without fear to anyone who will listen. We must stand up for what we believe in without fear or ridicule. We know that God will light our way until we are called home to be with Jesus.  

The bridge describes when we realize that we were only chasing shadows that weren’t worth chasing in the first place. We can call on God to illuminate the important things in life. We can march on for Jesus without fear and be proud of telling others about Him. 

I really like this song because it describes exactly what we are all longing for in life-to be more than what we are. It tells how we can be closer to Jesus, and reminds is to not be afraid to speak about Him. It also reminds me that telling others about Him is the ultimate goal in my life. I want to tell others about Him until I meet Him in heaven, one day.

Glitter and Glory

“Glitter and Glory”- This song opens up with the catchy phrase- “they say diamonds are forever. I say only time will tell. They say money makes it happen, but I’m not buying what they sell.” Beauty, fame and fortune bring sparkles to our eye, but we don’t need to only live for temporary things in life. The chorus points out that we can instead start focusing on things of heavenly and eternal nature. It reminds us not to focus on glitter when you can clearly see the glory of God in everyday life.

The second stanza goes on to describe how people search for fame and other worldly statuses such as power and possessions take possession of their souls, but we don’t want to gain the whole world but lose our souls. These things will eventually fade away. It is a much better idea to focus on the goodness of God every day. It even asks us to ask God to be the treasure we seek and to help us see the difference between glitter on earth and the glory of heaven. It tells us not to live a life that is temporary.

Can’t Stop My Hallelujah’s

“Just Can’t Stop My Hallelujahs” soared to the heavens with Jody’s vocals. His voice was crisp and so authentic. It reminded me of how much I and other listeners loved his voice from day one. He adds such a rich texture to the song, and to Avalon as a whole because of his harmonies as well as the lead that he takes on this song.  You know that every word is poured out from the soul during this song. The lyrics give a powerful glimpse into the way we are supposed to view Jesus as the King. “How could I not worship?”

It talks about how our days are carved by God Himself and we should live to worship Him with everything we have. The chorus talks about God rescued our hearts and how it should stun us to know that we are saved. Nothing compares to God because He took our punishment upon Himself. It then tells us we don’t have to stop praising Him. 

The second verse talks about the mercy and grace that Jesus gives us. This song could be slow enough to dance to if someone wanted to. It is filled with praise and worship, not to mention a passion for the Lord. The bridge talks about how all praise, honor, and glory are the Lord’s alone. 

This song is another powerful testimony of faith. I can hear the crowds singing this at the top of their lungs at Avalon’s upcoming concerts. 

I highly recommend this album. Avalon’s Called automatically makes me feel connected to God personally and makes me marvel at how awesome He is. This album is filled with many powerful truths and beautiful truths about God. It will immerse people in worship from the first song to the last.

Called, is available on all streaming outlets, and at www.avalonthegroup.com.

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