Music Review of:  HOPE IS ALIVE - Tom Frye

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Music Review of Broken the Band


Review of  Hope is Alive - Tom Frye

Song: My Delight

The appetizer to this project, My Delight, flows through the soul gently.  Listening to it is a good start to any day.  The acoustic, electric guitar and instrumentation, are dancing  with delight around the lyrics shared. 

The Lyrics: 

Your mercies are made new every morning
In the dawn's first light..


Song:  Lifter of My Head

A novel is unfolded in the lyrics of this beautiful ballad.  Musical masterpiece instrumentally.  Breathtaking guitar dancing melody. 

The Lyrics: 

And the rain falls down like missiles and drowns out all my hope
When the wind steals my breath away and rear pierces my heart
it is You I run to I find safety in Your arms..
You're my shield, You are my strength, You're the lifter of my head..


Song:  Revival

When a song becomes comfortable like a long known friend, there is satisfaction.  This song while new to my soul, is now planted firmly within.  The lyrics, and musical arrangement, sound very much like a group of friends jamming the joy of their soul to our beloved Lord.

The Lyrics: 

My heart grows to love You more, as I follow where You lead
So let there be revival.  Pour out your Spirit on the land and the sea
Let there be revival.  And let it start in me..

*Some background on the song Revival: 
Tom:  Revival was written as a prayer, after observing some frustrating things in the world, I began feeling a bit condemning and therefore pious.  Then after basking in this false sense of holiness God reminded me that the world will act like the world, and if I want it to be any different I need to get my own attitude right.  I was reminded of a quote I'd once heard Steve Brown say "If you want revival, get on your knees, draw a circle around yourself and pray that God starts it right there."  The song was born from that experience.


Song: Go with God

This immediately reminded my of the famous Irish blessing.  Tom's lyrics are a wonderful blessing to anyone.  I will be sharing these lyrics with friends when their souls need comforting.  This artist skillfully matches the right words with the right music.  The results... amazing.

The Lyrics: 

This is my wish, this is my hope for you
This is my desire, when you're lost and along
When you're not sure, which road to walk
My only prayer for you, is that you'd go with God..

*Some background on the song Go with God 
Tom: Go with God was inspired by a friend.  My wife and children, spent a couple years sitting with an elderly lady once or twice a week.  She was being cared for by her son and daughter in law.  She had been paralyzed on one side by a stroke, but was still so full of life.  She never outwardly professed a faith in Jesus, which burdened those who loved her.  As she lay dying her daughter in law whispered to her to "Go with God". When I heard that, this song just flowed out.


Song:  Oh How I love Jesus

This public domain song by Frederick Whitfield, is beautifully delivered with friends Mike Milligan, Brad Layher, Mitch Mcvicker,  Michael  and Jeanne Anne Aukofer.   The gorgeous melody carries  the lyrics, and Mitch does a wonderful  soft bgv on it. 

The Lyrics: 

There is a name I love to hear
I love to sing it's worth
It sounds like music in my ear
The sweetest name on earth..


Song:  Show Me The Way

Songs that evolve from intimate conversations with God, are always a pleasure to witness.    This song almost sounds unplugged, which makes it even more special.  When music isn't over-produced to achieve marketability, it is a jewel found.

The Lyrics: 

So teach me to seek as hidden treasure,
This will You have for me..


Song:  Edge of Grace

Fresh range of vocals on this great ballad.  Each song on this album brings another road of musical journeys  this artist is willing to travel on and share the experience.  Listen  to his walk and enjoy.

The Lyrics:

'Cause nothing can describe
The way I feel inside
Here at the edge of grace..

*Some background on the song Edge of Grace: 
Tom:  Edge of Grace was written after a conversation with  a very legalistic person.  I was raised in legalism and know the emptiness and yet false sense of security that it affords.  I imagined a cliff at the "valley of the shadow" Jesus was there reaching into the darkness pulling people out.  I realized that grace is often misunderstood by those who live far from it's edge, where they may feel "safe from it all", but the further we are from the edge of grace the more we "fear the fall".  After all, we aren't called to a safe life, but to a life on the edge standing with Jesus, and that's the safest place to be.


Song:  Hope is Alive

Exquisite and tenderly delivered.  Again masterfully produced with undertones of brilliance that bring this to the mountain tops of satisfaction.

The Lyrics:

Hope is alive, it laughs and it breathes
And it springs up anew,
Past the thistles and weeds
And hope is as real
As the light that still shines
Bounces off of the moon, and into the night
Just to remind me, that hope is alive..


Song:  Tears Like Rain

This song is co-written with Michael Aukofer.   Everything Michael touches musically is magical.  Michael is a gifted artist and producer who was  part of the Rich Mullins in crowd.  This duet with Emily Akins, has a  comfortable country feel.  The acoustic and electric guitar are as light as misty rain around the lyrics that deliver a wonderful story. 

The Lyrics:

Tears fall like the rain, in the early spring
That brings new life to the earth
She hears the gentle breeze
Whispers through the trees
It's the sweetest voice she's ever heard..

*Some background on the song: Tears Like Rain.    It is always special to get some insight into the music, and so I asked Tom and Michael both about this particular song. 

Tom:  This is a little different song that what I usually write, most of the time I write about personal experience, or response to God. This one, which I wrote with Michael Aukofer, is a song about about how so many people struggle with the idea that anyone, especially the God of the Universe, could love them unconditionally.  I think this is often the case, even in the Church (and I've come to realize even in my own maybe this is written from personal experience after all.)  Even those who have accepted Christ often live behind so many masks and walls without truly enjoying the freedom that can only be found in Christ. So the story line of the song is just about a women who has been so burned by men that she struggles to accept the love that Jesus offers, then finally giving in to this "Holy Hound" as Brennan Manning says, she feels the "peace she cannot measure". 

 Michael:  I know Tom had started writing this one but hadn't gotten far. During our pre-production time we had a minute and remember asking him to talk to me about the song and the idea that he wanted to convey in the song. After listening to Tom's hope for the song we decided to spend a little of our pre-production time finishing writing this song.  I don't remember who wrote what, but I do know that it was Tom's idea that we both worked to convey.  It was a special treat to have Emily Akins vocals on the song--what a talent she has!-----AND Phil's guitar playing-- there is some talent displayed on the tracks of this song.

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Song:  Broken

Admissions of being Broken.. but knowing that with Jesus, all is well.  Sounds simple, but this artist delivers it humbly from the heart and again another great song is captured.  The lyrics wrap tightly around the the music, like a treasured package.  Enjoy.

The Lyrics:

So come Lord Jesus,
Healer of the broken hearted
Let me touch the hem of Your garment
And wash away my sins..

*Some background on the song Broken:
Tom: Broken was written after a conversation with a pastor one night after a concert.  I had written the first verse months earlier, but could never finish the song.  That night the pastor shared how he had pastured in another denomination, and after a particularly painful personal experience the leadership in this particular denomination approached him and told him that he would never preach in their denomination again because "God can't use broken people".  He now has experienced restoration in another denomination.  I remarked to him that the only people God CAN use is the broken, because until we are broken by the weight of our sin, we can not experience God's grace. That night after I got home, I finished the song.


 Song:  The Truth Remains

First to last.. nothing but joy in this project Hope is Alive.  Sometimes a project is put out to highlight a song or two, with other mediocre music filling in the gaps nicely.  This artist delivers excellence with undertones, of pleasing God as his power of energy.  Each track is a solid stand-alone golden gift.   Pick it up at his official site and let it flow through you and brighten your day.

The Lyrics:

Well I've heard that joy comes in the morning
So I've stayed up all night,
Just waiting for the day to break...

*Some background on the song The Truth Remains 
Tom: The Truth Remains was written after a conversation with a pastor friend of mine.  During the conversation he commented that our feelings can often lead us astray, because we often rely on our feelings to decide what is true, but that inspite of our feelings, no matter how good or secure we might feel, or bad or lonely we might feel the truth never changes.  The truth is not swayed by circumstance. That conversation gave birth to this song.


Note on Lyrics:  Just a small sampling is included in the review to give a flavor of the artists talents. 

*Note, background on songs were provided by Tom and added to this review.  It is always enjoyable to find out what brought about the music and lyrics.

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