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Music Spotlight Tuesday: Andrae Crouch & The Disciples- Soulfully

This week's spotlight is in loving memory of Andrae Crouch who passed on January 8. I would like to focus on his 1972 album Soulfully. A title rightly given to an album that is indeed, soulful.

The project begins with "Everything Changed." Led by Mr. Crouch himself, this song about how Christ can come in to one's heart and transform a life.
"My world was empty before Christ came into my life. My days were lonely and dark before He came and brought the light. Just like a song wanting to be sung, but there was no melody. I never thought there could be happiness in this world for me. But everything changed when Christ stepped into my life."

"Everything Changed" is followed by "He Proved His Love to Me," and "Oh I Need Him." Together, these songs project Crouch's form of melodic testimony: the brassy, thumping, bass-driven, tambourine-shaking, soulful sound of the 70's supporting Crouch's lyrics of testimony.

"Satisfied" is downright funky. So funky, you can't help but dance! Brass, electric and bass guitars, drums, Crouch's piano, and strings collide as Crouch tells how Christ gives him a satisfied feeling.
"How can I explain something that I've never had before? It's like walking in the sunshine after a cold and dreary day. I've got a satisfied feelin' down in my soul."

"Through It All" is a timeless classic sang everywhere across the world. That is because everyone relates to the lyrics. Here, again, you hear and feel Crouch's command of music as a tool to melodically testify.

"I Come That You Might Have Life" is oh so soulful! And THAT, my dear reader, is why Crouch was ahead of his time. Crouch emerged out of the abyss of a gospel music industry during a time when gospel used nothing but pianos and organs. Crouch's music included brass, strings, drums, guitars, and melodies that sounded "secular." So, as you can imagine, most churches rejected him. But he pressed on. With lyrics loaded with Scripture, he reached a broader, non-believing audience outside of the four walls of the church. Crouch was revolutionary. One listen to "I Come That You Might Have Life" sums it up.

The same is true for "You Don't Know What You're Missing," which could have easily been a 70's-80's game show theme. But, what is exceptional about this song is Crouch actually lets his vocals rip at the end.

"Try Me One More Time" is a petition to the Lord for forgiveness and grace once again. A prayer we can all identify with.  Unlike most of the tracks on Soulful, "Try Me One More Time" is a heart-to-heart appeal to God.

"Leave the Devil Alone" is another funky joint. It is a warning for us not to mess with the devil. Anytime we dabble in sin, it is trouble.
"Oh the devil is busy. He's just like a snake in the grass. You know he's always lookin' to see if he can block somebody's path."
It is call-and-response duet with Crouch and the Disciples.
..."Leave that wigi board alone!"

Lastly, there is "It Won't Be Long," a slow lullaby. In the middle of the song Crouch speaks about our eternal hope of seeing Christ after we leave this earth. In my opinion, it is among one of the greatest songs of our eternal promise to see Jesus ever written.

Do not just take my word for it. Listen to Soulfully for yourself. Check out the YouTube links. You, too, will discover Crouch's unique way of connecting to listeners and compelling hearts to turn to Christ.

Soulfully is a legendary album written by a legend who lived his life and dedicated his musical gifts to tell the world about Christ.

Rest in Peace Pastor Andrae Crouch.


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