John Mark McMillan - Borderland
Last modified: 24 Mar 2014
Acclaimed singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan
has put out his fourth studio album 'Borderland'
as an independent release. This is the first album released through his recently launched record label, Lionhawk Records.
John Mark McMillan is best known as the writer of the worship anthem 'How He Loves
', which was recently listed by Integrity Music as one of the 25 most influential worship songs in the past 25 years and still today ranks on CCLI's Top 25 chart.
A lovely and soothing piano, mixed with some stunning orchestral sounds, opens up this album. These sounds give the opening track 'Holy Ghost'
a lovely and elegant edge. This song is a beautiful piece of music. I love the words, "We're dead in the water like lamb to the slaughter"
. Sometimes a song comes along and just leaves you breathless, and this is one of them.
The album quickly turns to a deeper and darker side, musically, with the track 'Love At The End'
. This haunting style of song plays to the songwriter's strength. I think this is brilliant, there is something very special about the song. In fact there are so many special pieces of music on this album, none more so than the solid and brilliant 'Guns/Napoleon'
John really knows how to write great songs, from the musically creative songs to the big anthemic full-bodied tracks. It's when he manages to weave these two songwriting aspects together, which i not as easy as it sounds, that he gets something truly special. This comes out in the track 'Future/Past'
which really is one of those songs you say to friends, "You have to hear this"
. I love the bridge line "You are the beginning and the end, you are the beginning and the end"
. A truly sublime track.
Another special moment on the album is the title track. I love the whole sound of this album but the sound that rings out on the title track 'Borderland
' is up there with the best.
Of course John is well known for being a creative writer, with his poetic and poignant lyrics, and this album continues to demonstrate that. Songs like 'Counting On'
, 'Monsters Talk'
and 'Tongues of Fire'
are modern day poems in song format. These three songs are some of Johns best lyrics to date without a doubt.
is like a brilliant piece of musical art. Track after track paints a different shade of colour in this wonderful picture. Each colour on its own is lovely, but together they make a wonderful masterpiece.
This album has everything: creative lyrics, creative melodies and creative music. John has been allowed to be himself musically on this record. This is another step for John in his musical journey - because John Mark McMillan has produced some of his best work to date.
Review By Jono Davies
Tongues of Fire