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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Economy is this singer/songwriter’s most cohesive statement yet, combining the urgency of a sinner’s prayer with a bold musical attack reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young. Muscular guitar riffs and slamming drums abound, giving tunes like “Heart Bleeds” and the title track a rafters-shaking impact. McMillan’s plaintive, slightly drawled vocals convey both strength and desperation, as if his salvation depended upon every word he sings. Most of all, his lyrics—literate, highly poetic, and dramatically visual—make this an outstanding release. McMillan confronts life, death, and resurrection in songs like “Murdered Son,” “Seen a Darkness,” and “Heart Bleeds” with courage born of passionate faith. He frames his words in settings ranging from churning urban rock (“Sheet of Night”) to brooding acoustic country (“Chemicals”) and old-fashioned hymnody (“Sins Are Stones”). The atmospheric guitar effects of “Love You Swore” find contrast in the harsh grinding tempo of “Who Is This.”

Customer Reviews

Soooo Good.

I've been bummed out ever since Coldplay released their new album because I felt it did no justice to the skills that they have as a band, however, this album just does the opposite for me. Economy is an amazing display of the talents of the entire band, whether it be John Mark McMillan's lyrics or James Duke's ambient shredding. Every bit of it makes me smile and respect him as an artist. Keep up the great work John Mark McMillan. I am a proud to call myself a fan.

Dan

Wow! Finally an album full of creativity and worship from beginning to end that does not sound like the music on k-love!!!!!
John Mark and the band have truly given us a jewel . I have been looking for something fresh and new and that glorifies God , I can truly say John Mark and the band are doing just that. Get this album and get one for your friends also!

Great album, but you have to hear them live

The songs on this album are absolutely fantastic, but I personally think they should have toured first with the new material, THEN gone into the studio. The song structure changed from the live version on the Ruckus tour after they recorded in the studio on a couple of the tracks. Not dramatically, but enough to notice a difference. When I saw the "Mighty Raucous Evening" shows, I knew it'd be difficult to capture the feel of some of the songs b/c they're SUCH live/participatory songs.

"Love You Swore" is my favorite song he does live (and not just from this album), but the studio version pales in comparison and is my least favorite on the album, which really bummed me out. I personally like the lower key he plays live (Bb compared to C on the album), and the meter of the "whoa's" in the chorus/bridge is better on the live version compared to the studio. It's still a good song on the album, but you HAVE to see it live to get the full experience and I was kind of spoiled on that one particularly.

Same thing for "Sheet of Night", "Daylight", and "Seen a Darkness", but they all still hld their own on the album. The instruments are much better live on "Sheet" (especially the drums and lead guitar). "Daylight" seems like its just a bit slower on the studio version and makes it drag, but the studio version is still stellar... just better live. "Seen" is obviously anthemic in its structure with all the whoa's throughout, which are again very conducive to a live setting.

The biggest exception is "Who is This". They've played that live since the Medicine album so they had a rock solid sound ready for the studio, and it clearly shows as that track is simply amazing.

The more mellow songs "Sins are Stones", "Murdered Son", and "Chemicals" are fantastic studio tracks, and even though I prefer the first two lyrically, "Chemicals" is probably the best produced track of the entire album... but again, "Who is This" might have something to say about that.

I didn't have a live comparison to make with "Economy" and "Heart Bleeds", but they're both amazing on the album. I think "Economy" is the most complex song musically John Mark has done, but it's not complex just for the sake of being complex and truly stands out as a musical gem. Very, very good.

What "Economy" is in it's music complexity, "Heart Bleeds" is in it's simplicity. Basic, to the point, but lyrically still a powerhouse. I saw another review that mentioned how strongly you can feel the Springsteen influence on this track, and I agree wholeheartedly. This is one track I can actually hear the E-Street band playing, however it's not some sort of copy but a genuine outpouring of his musical influence.

*One side note to make is I'd have liked to have heard much more of Andrew Williams' melodies on the album. His voice compliments John Marks so strong.*

*Another side note is that lyrically, this album is as good as it gets. While I may have preferred some of the arrangments, keys, or instruments on some of these songs live, they are ALL top shelf when it comes to lyrical content. John Mark has the ability to write and communicate lyrics like some of the lyrical greats throughout music history, regardless of religious affiliation. The cool thing is he's writing these lyrics about Jesus, and as someone on the home team, it's very refreshing for a brother in Christ to be contributing significant art like this into the marketplace.*

Overall I still give Economy a solid 5 stars and anyone who like good music should buy it, whether you're a Christian or ______. I just hope there's a live album planned in the future. "Death in his grave" has always been better on the live version compared to the version on the Medicine, and I think it'd be awesome for everyone to have the opportunity to have that version as well as some of these tracks the way they were meant to be played; in a corporate setting, with people possibly getting just a tiny bit raucous.

Biography

Born: November 27, 1979 in Charlotte, NC

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Faith-based singer/songwriter John Mark McMillan was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He spent his formative years in and out of local non-secular rock bands before a personal loss drew him to a more spiritual life. He issued his debut album, Hope Anthology, Vol. 1, in 2002, followed in 2005 by The Song Inside the Sounds of Breaking Down, the latter of which included the single "How He Loves," which has since gone on to become a popular and oft-covered worship...
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Economy, John Mark McMillan
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