John Mark McMillan’s Economy. This is the third or fourth album however you would like to consider what JMM first album was; (Hope Anthology Vol. I or The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down.) Anyway, thats not the point. This album is beautiful. JMM is an amazing songwriter and takes a different spin on the whole Christian music scene. John Mark’s take on songwriting comes from a more personal level through his own experiences and he weaves theses experiences through amazing lyrics.
The album Economy is 10 songs long with each track having its own beauty to it that the listener can gain from. But what is amazing about this album in my opinion is that you find something new every time you listen to it. John Mark McMillan hits every element on Economy, Rock, Gospel, Folk, Country, and Indie.
- Sheet of Night
- Our Hearts Bleed
- Love You Swore
- Murdered Son
- Who is This
- Sins Are Stones
- Seen A Darkness
Sheet of Night
This was the first single released by JMM and company. The opening lyric is “The Devil is Dealing Dirty” along with James Duke’s delayed guitar work. This song opens into a pre-chorus singing “But like diamonds we shine up against a sheet of night” then into a massive chorus with massive amounts of reverb from the guitars. The song, in my opinion, is dealing with the darkness of the world and temptations, but you still shine through the darkness with Christ.
Daylight I felt was a song about redemption. He opens the song with “Daylight comes to meet you on the road, like a prodigal son, a prodigal hope.” For some reason I find the simplicity out of the complication of his lyrics (if that makes any sense) but this entire song he refers to “Living on the edge of darkness” but “daylight is coming on” showing their is hope when everything is or already has crashed in around you.
Our Hearts Bleed
This is a straight up love song for Jesus. My favorite lyric from the song is “Like Fools in Love We’re Bound to Make a Scene,” I feel like he is saying I love the God and I don’t care what you think when we make a scene for the Lord. James Duke really shines on this song with his atmospheric playing behind JMM. He even incorporates a little bottle neck action towards the end of the song.
Love You Swore
I have heard people hating on this song because he uses the “Whoa, oh” to much through the song. I feel like it fits the song perfectly. This song could also pass easily for a worship song in a congregational setting. But probably the best line off this song is from the bridge, “Harbor me in the eye of the storm, I’m holding on to the love you swore.” James Duke again shines through on this song with the atmosphere sound that he does. Swells, reverb, delay, and a pinch of tremolo is all over this track.
This is my favorite track off the album. This song is all about lifting up the glory of Jesus and how he took the payment of sin from the world. But put death in the grave. The chorus goes like this, (I find this beautiful by the way) “Glory to one, God’s murdered son. Who paid for my resurrection.” This song kinda has a Carbon Ribs (Medicine Album) fell to it. It’s just John Mark and James playing. John Mark on acoustic and James making swells and playing bottleneck with tons of reverb and delay.
Economy is the title track off the album and its a rocking one. I feel like he is putting trust in God to pull him out of anything that happens (he refers this as economy) However, like I stated before this is a rocking song. It has a big sound at the beginning then letting down for the verse to open back again for the chorus.
Who is This
This is my second favorite song off the album. I basically like it because of the guitar work from James Duke on it. Probably the song he shines the most on the album or a close second to Seen a Darkness. But the track is very basic and simply lyrics. The best thing I can tell you about this track is just listen to it.
Sins are Stones
This is another slow song off the album. He start the song by using the melody and delivery of an old hymn that escapes me right now of what its called. But this is another song about redemption and finding hope in the blood of Christ. “By the blood of a son, I have overcome the grave.” James does some nice slide work on this song as well. This song could almost pass as a country song in my opinion. It just has that southern vibe.
Chemicals is that folk sound that I mentioned he uses on the album. This song is a beautiful song that actually had to grow on me after a few listens. I feel the song is all about learning how to love and searching for something. My favorite line of the song is this, “But I want to love you, when the blood in my vein’s don’t know how to call out your name.” This is one of those songs where you want to pick up your acoustic and just play along with John Mark.
Seen a Darkness
This is the ultimate finale to the album. It starts with an oscillating delay by James Duke then breaks into a big sound of Whoa’s, guitar riffs, and drums. The song has this galloping sound through the verses and big sounds through the chorus. This is another song about redemption in Christ. “We have seen a darkness but we have seen a light. We have felt the love of a hope’s hot blood in the machinery of night.” John Mark McMillan closes his album with the lyrics “You have called us loved and You have called up wanted. One time we were bruised, we were bankrupt and haunted.” A fitting end to a beautiful album.
This is a beautiful album all the way through. Plus my favorite guitar player plays on it so that was defiantly another plus for it. But I would strongly suggest if you want to break out of the mediocre christian radio stuff check out John Mark McMillan, your ears will thank you.
5 out of 5