Undaunted by the surprise success of their debut, Casting Crowns delivered another assured, inspirational blockbuster for the follow-up, Lifesong. Perfectly pleasant in its midtempo adult pop, the album alternates between praising Jesus, gently challenging believers, and calling out hypocrisy within the church. The album shines brightest on its earnest ballads and whenever violinist Melodee DeVevo joins frontman Mark Hall in harmony. Standouts include the tenderhearted “Does Anybody Hear Her” and the confessional “Stained Glass Masquerade”—the latter a powerful reminder that believers struggle with doubt too.

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