It all began with Over And Underneath, the debut record from Tenth Avenue North that introduced the band’s signature style of intellectual melodic pop/rock. It was also the start of the band’s story song, communicating that Christ is both over and underneath. He’s higher than the heights of our purity and lower than the depths of our depravity. Tenth Avenue North then released their sophomore effort,The Light Meets The Dark, continuing the story with songs that were both poignant and powerful. Lead singer, Mike Donehey, explained this next step in their musical journey. “Okay, now if you believe that you are messed up, let people see how messed up you are, are you ready to confess? Are you ready to have all your masks taken away?” The message of The Light Meets The Dark was that we are more than the sum of our mistakes, we’re the sum of the Father’s love for us. The next chapter continued on the band’s third record, The Struggle. This collection of songs explained that once we know that we don’t have to save ourselves, we are freed up to be honest about our struggles. We can admit that we feel worn, and we need redemption. We are free to struggle, but hallelujah, we’re not struggling to be free.
Now, Tenth Avenue North releases Islands, (iTunes | Amazon) a collection of four songs from their upcoming studio release, Cathedrals. The band was struck by John Dunn’s memorable quote, “no man is an island.” With these new songs, Tenth Avenue North encourages us to get off our self-made islands of isolation, to break the chains of shame that have kept us there, and find communion with God and each other. Tenth Avenue North encourages us to realize God’s spirit doesn’t dwell in buildings, He dwells in us for WE ARE HIS CATHEDRALS.
The essential message behind “No Man is An Island” is a plea for us to come back to community. We were never meant to carry our burdens alone. So many of us live in our own islands of isolation. If we are made in God’s image we should seek to not only live in community with Him, but with one another.
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