If you love worship music but want something more calm and classic than many of the modern releases, you should check out Sara Groves’ newest album, Abide With Me. Released last November, this album contains eleven hymns that were recorded in a 110-year-old church.
Groves has been making music professionally for the last twenty years and partnered with International Justice Mission for the last twelve. Her albums have earned her seven Dove Award nominations. Abide With Me is her tenth studio album.
The first few tracks retain the beauty of the original hymns, but serve more to lead up to the title track. “Abide With Me” features a small choir singing along with Groves, rounding out the sound and placing the listener in the setting of the old church. “The Song of Blessing” is a more upbeat song, also including the choir.
Several tracks may be recognizable to those who grew up with the old hymns, such as “For the Beauty of the Earth” and “Fairest Lord Jesus,” while others are not as well known. Each song exudes a calming presence with encouraging lyrics of hope. Groves has clear passion, especially on the later tracks. Several songs have a slight country style to them, giving the album a more homey and welcoming atmosphere.
The final track on the album is “He’s Always Been Faithful,” a new version of a song that was featured on 2001 album Conversations and a reimagining of the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” This song emphasizes a trust that God will continue to provide, rather than a focus on the past.
While the songs may be old, the message is very relevant to today. We all have times where we need to be reminded of God’s love and unending faithfulness, and this album is a worshipful and soothing gesture of hope.
A beautiful example of returning to the classic hymns, Abide With Me is available on iTunes, Spotify, or through saragroves.com.