Style: Pop-laced worship
Top tracks: "Alive Again," "You Were on the Cross," "Christ Has Risen"
In a nutshell: Discriminating ears long for intelligent worship songs cut from slightly darker cloth, and Matt Maher heeds that cry with an unselfconscious sophomore effort. Though steadily uplifting and at times corporate ("Shout of the King"), elsewhere the Catholic theologian ambles into introspective, piano-pop territory and bares his soul, confessing reality slipping from his grasp on "Alive Again," and wondering if blaming someone else for his pain "would make my life seem easier" on standout "You Were on the Cross." "Hold Us Together" has a folksy, acoustic charm, while organic ballads "Flesh and Bone" and "Garden" reveal Maher's raw depth. On the heels of safer hits like 2008's "Your Grace Is Enough," Maher successfully brings movement to stagnant worship circles.1