Written by: Laura Chambers (5/13/2016)
Inspiration can be elusive. Nobody knows this better than songwriters. You can try singing nearly any combination of words and see how they sound; one minute it’s awesome, the next you’re shaking your head and wondering, “what was I thinking?” So you flip through a newspaper, scan the Internet, listen to other songs, read the Bible, rinse, repeat…am I boring you?
Let me share with you a little secret; it doesn’t have to be that hard. Are you trying to find something relatable? The key word here is “relate”. As in, those you relate to. Sometimes the very thing you’re looking for is right at your feet, in the lives of the people that surround you. They’ve lived it, walked the road to this day, and their journeys speak louder than any pretty turn of phrase. It doesn’t hurt to throw a few of those in, but long after they forget your clever wordplay, they’ll recall the truth of God’s word. Travis Ryan completes the project he began a year ago with the release of Until My Voice Is Gone (Live), which is available as a full-length album by that title, or in two parts; You Hold It All (released last fall) and Heartbeat EP (out now). Drawing inspiration from his church family and their trials and victories, Until My Voice Is Gone (Live) aims to inspire praise that outstrips our ability to vocalize it while at the same time giving voice to the cry of our hearts. (On the message front, it’s always a good sign when five – count ‘em – five of the song titles have “You” in them.)
“We Believe” affirms our strongly held belief that despite our troubles, we can hold on to the core beliefs of the Christian faith. Rather than merely voice them in songs, our actions ought to testify to the truths we have staked our lives in. “Until My Voice Is Gone” reminds us in the telling that God deserves our worship because everything He accomplished was done in the only way it could ever possibly happen. It also challenges us to expend every last bit of our endurance in praise. And even if we do, there’s always plenty more where that came from! Triumph echoes in the bridge and gives us one more push. “Forever Holy” expresses the hope that we will always have declarations of His holiness on our tongues. Faced with everything God has given us, we realize how impossible it is to worship Him. Holy seems to be the only word that comes to mind when we look at Him. “You Are Able” recalls that God’s strength is entirely sufficient to uphold us in our weakness. Though we cannot understand everything that happens, our response should always be bringing glory and praise to God. “You Hold It All” goes through a series of images that would be perfect for a music video, illustrating that God is the one who supports and completes every one of these things. With a simple chorus that makes it easy to sing along, the song presses home the timeless fact that God is our foundation.
“Holy Spirit Come” entreats the Spirit of God to spark a fire inside of us. When His presence appears, He isn’t timid and meek; instead, He comes with all the fury of fire and waves. With a spirit of humility, Inspired by the restoration of a formerly fallen member of Ryan’s church, “You Never Give Up On Me” gratefully details the many things God does for us, even though He has no reason to, no obligation other than the promises He makes. He went down as far as He could go to take us higher than we could ever climb without Him. Unlike anyone else, He will not leave us no matter what. “The Goodness of The Lord” gives our reasons for assurance in God’s goodness. He comes to us in our troubled moments and carries us through them. Even when we doubt and ask questions, He doesn’t leave us. It’s altogether too much to take in, yet we can always be sure of Him. “The Cross Was Meant For Me” affirms a truth that often escapes us; were it not for Christ’s death on the cross, we would be subject to the same wrath He endured. Considering the brutality of the price He paid, what can we do but thank Him? A quiet, reverent hymn of gratitude. Born of the need for infectious enthusiasm for God, “Your Love Set My Soul On Fire” picks up the tempo with a celebration of His love. It is the one thing that can compel us to push back against the darkness and live with purpose. Though it’s not the most inventive song lyrically, I imagine that didn’t stop the worshippers at the live event from believing the truth it contains. “Heartbeat” contains two lists of roles; ours, ever the unpredictable, uncontrollable runaway, and His, the solid, unshakeable, mighty God, who never gives up pursuing us. And when He catches up to us, He brings us near enough to experience His love firsthand.
Finally, “You Come Running”, the bonus track, expresses the joy of knowing that God doesn’t let our rebellion, fear, trouble, or any other factor to sway His decision to chase us everywhere we go. Our actions can never separate us from His love.
Everybody has experienced moments where words fail them, when the sum total of our vocabulary takes wing and leaves us grasping about in our poor attempts to express ourselves. Thankfully, Travis Ryan doesn’t have that problem. Until My Voice Is Gone instead loans us the skillful words of another, borrowed in turn from the pages of Scripture; a poignant reminder that every moment belongs to God, yet we could never have enough of them to give Him His due.
Released: May 13, 2016
Label: Integrity Music
- We Believe (Live) (4:54)
- Until My Voice Is Gone (Live) (5:15)
- Forever Holy (Live) (6:22)
- You Are Able (Live) (7:26)
- You Hold It All (Live) (6:53)
- Holy Spirit Come (Live) (6:42)
- You Never Give Up On Me (Live) (4:29)
- The Goodness of The Lord (Live) (5:17)
- The Cross Was Meant For Me (Live) (4:34)
- Your Love Set My Soul On Fire (Live) (4:07)
- Heartbeat (Live) (6:32)
- You Come Running (Bonus Studio Track) (3:25)
12 Tracks, 65:56
Buy on iTunes
More from Travis Ryan:
- Travis Ryan EP (2008)
- Travis Ryan (2009)
- Fearless (2012)
- You Hold It All EP (Live) (2015)
- Heartbeat (Live) (2016)
- Until My Voice Is Gone (2016)
Links for Travis Ryan: