Written by: Laura Chambers (September 19, 2017)
It’s lunchtime, and you’re starving; breakfast seems like an eternity ago. So when the clock strikes 12, or the school bell rings, you hurry to the cafeteria like your britches are on fire. When you arrive, you take a look at the day’s menu, and see several options listed. You recall a friend saying that the soup was good today, or After a moment, you know exactly what you want.
What if instead of being able to make your own selection based on someone else‘s recommendation, you were led to a table and told that your meal would be a surprise? When it’s set down before you, it looks promising. So you take a tentative bite, and, sure enough, it’s good. In fact, it’s really good. But you wouldn’t have known that without tasting it for yourself. Ricardo Sanchez invites us to do just that with his latest album Taste + See, a veritable cornucopia of offerings flavored with various cultural influences. The album was recorded live at Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas.
“You Are” races all the way through, declaring the many roles Jesus plays in our lives – light, hope, redeemer, and lover of our souls. We desire more than we have and find it in Him. “Taste + See” and its reprise seem to be influenced by another decade stylistically (the 70s perhaps?) It tells us what the implications are of Jesus being a healer, lover, etc. namely that He will do these things for us. By taking a chance on God, we can see His goodness for ourselves, how He loves us and never leaves us. Death has no claim on us anymore and sickness is defeated on the cross. With an infectious chorus, “Greater, Greater” announces God’s supreme greatness by listing the many ways He displays it. Despite the fact that we don’t deserve anything He gives us, they are ours anyway. There’s nobody who compares to Him. A reprise follows this track, too.
“Relentless” praises God for His unlimited grace and wondrous love. His forgiveness for us never stops; it chases after us, pulling down every wall we believe our sin erects between ourselves and God. The aim of God’s grace is to cover our sins, something it more than accomplishes. The stirring hymn “A Bridge” takes its name from a line in the song’s first verse that refers to the cross as “a bridge of blood and wood”, over which we cross into a victorious new life. His blood flows from the cross and becomes our covering. We are victorious because He is. Am I the only one who thought of The Little Mermaid upon the intro to “Over Me (All That’s Within Me)”? The song blesses God for His many wondrous deeds and gives Him everything we have. He can change any circumstance and accomplish the impossible, remembrance of which can be a powerful weapon against the devil’s attacks. The bridge declares that rather than being burdened by heaviness and evil, we’re covered by the joy of the Lord and find freedom when we trust in His name.
“Faithful” recognizes that when God brings us hope, it creates in us a hunger for Him that we never lose. He will finish everything He starts to do in our lives. He takes a moment between the song and its reprise to pinpoint the cause of us losing our fervor for our callings; with the passage of time, the things we were passionate about as young people lose their allure. “You Surround Me” takes comfort in the presence of God throughout our battles. He overwhelms those who try to overwhelm us, and shields us in the midst of our trials. He is the one constant in turmoil. We have freedom in the cross; there is nothing more powerful than Christ working in us. “Hallelujah (My Victor)” reminds us of the reason we can still hope in spite of darkness and confusion. Christ gives us hope and joy that defies definition simply by being with us. No matter how the waters swirl or the ground trembles, we still have a solid foundation to stand upon. “Tu Gracia” ends on a bilingual (English/Spanish) note, declaring that God’s grace provides everything – a love that satisfies, a peace that assures, and a grace that revives. The song has kind of a fiesta vibe going, but it gets a little chaotic near the end.
Imagine Taste + See as being like a free buffet. You may not like every selection, but you’ll probably find at least one thing you like; I know I did (“A Bridge” “Over Me” and “You Surround Me” are my favorites.) Ricardo Sanchez brings the love of God to life in this live album, an eclectic sampling of the loud and soft, the funky and soulful, the hopeful and the sincere.
Released: September 29, 2017
Label: Difference Media Group
- You Are (Live) (4:44)
- Taste + See (Live) (3:48)
- Taste + See (feat. Charlin Neal) [Reprise / Live] (2:10)
- Greater, Greater (feat. Charlin Neal) [Live] (4:21)
- Greater, Greater (Reprise / Live) (2:05)
- Relentless (Live) (6:30)
- A Bridge (feat. Blanca) [Live] (4:27)
- A Bridge (Reprise / Live) (1:57)
- Over Me (All That’s Within Me) [Live] (4:24)
- Faithful (Live) (5:08)
- Faithful (Reprise / Live) (4:12)
- You Surround Me (Live) (8:08)
- Hallelujah (My Victor) [Live] (4:46)
- Tu Gracia (feat. Blanca) [Live] (7:14)
14 Tracks, 64:00
Buy on iTunes
More from Ricardo Sanchez:
- Unmerited (2005)
- Oh What A God (2011)
- It’s Not Over (2011)
- No Es el Fin (2012)
- Grand Symphony (2015)