Year of Return – The Heart to Heart Album
It has been a full decade since Crossfire Gh released an album project. In this “Year of Return,” I was so excited to see their cover art on apple music. So excited, I decided I would write about it! Here’s what I loved (and didn’t) about Crossfire’s 2019 Neo-Soul Album; Heart to Heart.
First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to the band for this beautiful piece of art. Secondly, I was very confused when I saw “Neo-Soul” at the Genre. Had to google it and found that Neo soul is a genre of popular music it is a style of music that emerged from soul and contemporary R&B.
This album release was very timely for me, because its been a rough two weeks, and it was my go-to jam for worship and communion with God. It was released by Glory House Records on all major digital platforms last week, and was produced in partnership with Jerbette Productions. Looking at the album name, “Heart to Heart”, that’s exactly what its meant to be: a musical interaction / communion from one heart to another heart. In truth, from God’s heart to ours and from ours to his. It was a befitting album name, seeing as the first six songs were written from God’s point of view, and the last four, from the church’s point of view.
Let me take you through what the 52-minute musical journey sounded like to me:
Give it to me: The album starts with what I believe is their rendition of God’s response to their first album; “Dear God,”. This song was released in 2016 ahead of this album. (Yes, it’s been a long time coming) It is an invitation to surrender and deeper intimacy with Him, by giving Him every part of your being. It can be food to the downhearted, weary and or depressed soul, if you let it be. I personally love the fact that this song opens the album, because the voice that starts this song gives me the feels every single time. There’s a video of this song on Youtube that you may enjoy. While you’re there, enjoy the other accoustic session videos
Heart Change (feat Aida): Singer and song writer, Ps. Aida of Dag Howard Mills Ministries joins crossfire to ask about our state of heart. Did we every love God to begin with? What changed since we first loved Hlm and now? There are so many practical and necessary questions presented in this song.
Above the Din: In this, God is asking for a little more of us. This song tells a story of God trying to speak to us, but we are unable to hear him ‘Above the din’. Din means: a loud continuous noise. It is pretty relatable, especially if you are one who is often using the internet and social media to the detriment of personal fellowship with God. Again, there’s an acoustic version of this song on YouTube that you can enjoy here.
Spare Change: This song has an old school funk feel to it. Everytime I start listening to it, I automatically go into a two-step dance. Again, there’s a lot of imagery in the lyrics with regards to giving pieces of yourself to everyone and everything else and leaving God with the spare change, look out for what happens at “2:00” of this song, it hits a spot in my heart.
Who Will Go: This is a very simple song, written as a soliloquy of God. The simplicity of the song adds emotion and depth to the message. Justina did an amazing job communicating God’s heart through the different voice textures we hear in this piece. In the song, God is asking: who will love Him, work for Him, and be with Him. It ends with what sounds like a response to His question, “Who will go” The rest of the band accept the invitation in a chorus, agreeing to love Him, work for Him and be with Him.
Don’t Look Down (feat Bishop Sackey): This song is really fun to listen to. It has a lot of imagery especially with the lyrics and sounds in it. The opening line, “I am with you on this tight rope, so just don’t look down,” paints a picture of me walking on a tightrope, trying to balance myself and get to the end of the rope in one piece. This symbolizes being in a difficult position and being in need of the strength and courage to move forward. As the song says, God promises to get us there (to the promised destination) if only we don’t look down. This is an invitation to trust and obey God. Bishop Sackey’s feature was really apt for the message of the song an I was wondering if it was a sermon excerpt or he spoke specifically for this song. This song could easily be my favourite on the album.
Deep Within (Feat Curtis Quarcoo & ATO): This is the first song written from what could easily be your perspective – if you’ve ever felt misjudged or mistreated, if you have ever had hidden secrets that seem to keep you away from God. The song ends with a chorus of “…I’m going to worship anyway,” and this is the import of the song for me – no matter anyone’s standing with God, nothing should hinder your worship. It is in worship and through a repentant heart that we can truly encounter God. What I didn’t love about this song was how heavily it was dosed with riffs and runs. Personally, it gets distracting when they are repeated in almost every word. Granted, having some of these musical technics help add to the emotional expression – but we wouldn’t want that to be the point or focus of the song, especially when the song has such a powerful message.
Taking Your Place: This song is an invitation to God to occupy all the space there is in our hearts. It is a promise or vow that nothing will take His place. After the intro, (which again, gives me all the feels every time I listen to it,) there is a breakdown that sounds like rock music and I loved that. My third favourite thing about this song is the electric guitar in it- the first and second things were one; the voice that started the song and, two; the message of the song.
Thorns (feat Meffstone, Joseph Danzerl & Kobby Garbrah): I was really excited to hear this song on the heart to heart album, because it is a timeless worship song, speaking to the beauty of Jesus, His Name, His Sacrifice and His love. The vocal palette on this song was refreshing to hear. What I didn’t love about this song was what happened at the build-up. The different facets of the song were running concurrently- and in as much as that concept resonates with me, I did not fully enjoy how it turned out in the song. Typically, there comes a point in worship where there is so much you want to tell God at once, even to the point where you are lost for words. I believe this could have been pulled off in… a different way.
Lost Lamb (feat Kingzkid): This song reminds me of Isaiah 53:6, and informs about the greater love of God that seeks us out of our sin and dirt and draws us to Him. He leaves the 99 to find the one sheep that goes astray. There’s something like a rap on this song from Kingzkid – I’m generally not a fan of rap, but I guess that’s what Neo-Soul is about? Having a wide variety of contemporary rhythms and beats. My favourite part of this song is the chant “…I’ve been running but, you’ve been chasing me. Now I’m stopping all this hide and seek…”.
The heart to heart album is lyrically satisfying, musically refreshing and vocally inspiring. I think the project was well thought-through. The various songs are presented in such a melodically fun way, and share a message of redemption, reconciliation, and intimacy with God. If I wasn’t hearing rumours of the band breaking up, I would have been excited to see when the next project would come out.
You can access the full album on these digital platforms: