Artist: Boasting Weak
If I said what popped into my head after putting this CD, Glorify, by Boasting Weak, in my office, and listening to the first few songs, I would probably be in trouble with many of the duo’s biggest fans, grace-embracing, non-condemning, and non-damning though they may be. A word comes to mind that just doesn’t seem to seamlessly blend in with words of praise for a praise-based collection of songs.
I’ll still say it (sort of), but I'll tame things down, by substituting a word that sounds the same, but is much more specific about my sentiments about the CD: This is DAM good! I use the term, “dam good,” to indicate that the album releases a flood of feelings in me----feelings of praise within me that I’ve held back, like tons of water behind a dam.
"Ab initio," with, Glorify creates in me fear mixed with joyful anticipation at the thought that the dam in my soul is about to break. "Ab initio," with this, the title track, I fear my dam will surely crack. I tried so hard to hold it back, and felt this dam was built to last. Glorify is an original, among a glorious collection of originals and reinterpretations of classic songs of worship and praise. The song appears to have been penned by duo (made up of Jared Dragoun, and wife, Mary Beth Dragoun), with a third writer, Dan Bingham.
You gave to us a sacrifice/You rescued us from dark to light/You grow us up in this new life/Your Word and Spirit santify/And we are called to love, love, love…
This “call to love,” is one that Jared and Mary Beth take very seriously, in their leadership roles as worship leaders at Riverlakes Church in Bakersfield, and as the artists that have just released this, their sophomore effort. Though some have called me “prolific,” I’m just a songwriter, with lots of rough edges. Not only does this duo write their own material, they bring depth to pre-existing material through their own signature reinterpretations. And, through it all, they consistently bring glory to God. Honestly, if I was this young, this talented and this melodious, I may be tempted to take a bit of that glory for myself.
“Without Jesus Christ in our lives there would be no reason to write these lyrics or sing these melodies---thank you Jesus for saving our wretched hearts, thank you Holy Spirit for giving us the power to change, and thank you Abba, for adopting us as Your children…”
These are the heartfelt words of Jared and Mary Beth found in the internal contents of the CD’s J-card. And the humility before God that is expressed in these words is consistently echoed in the music and lyrics of Glorify.
Jared has a beautiful voice, smooth and melodiously rich. He appears to be the modern-day Richard Carpenter of the duo, the Carpenters. Mary Beth’s voice is a little more haunting, and it is the mysterious, sultry haunting quality of her voice that represents the yang of the yin and yang confluence of sound. She is the modern-day Karen Carpenter, but presumably without the eating disorder or the corresponding demons that Karen faced.
Like the Carpenters, Boasting Weak have a mysterious element in their sound, and an alternative twist. Like the Carpenters, I hear the influence of the Beatles on their sound.
I’ve grouped them with acts like Lost Ocean to depict Bakersfield’s belated answer to the British Invasion. They represent a core element in the Bakersfield Invasion, a cousin of the post-Bakersfield-sound heard in some of the rising stars that are grounded in the original music of the Bakersfield Sound.
Before there was time You were there/Before the beginning You saw the end, You were there
God is here, ever-present from beginning to end, in this glorious collection by Boasting Weak. God is there, in this collection that yearns like a prayer, and burns, like they care. It is passion that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus.
That passion is contagious, and now that the dam in my soul has burst and my soul has reached the point of no return, I’m going to put this glorious collection on one more time, so I can feel the whitecaps of current rush through my soul. “Dam,” this is good!
CD Review by Dr Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT