The sound of healthy deconstruction?

Get Out Of The Way Of Your Own Heart Deluxe
Chris Renzema
Label: Centricity Music
Length: 15 songs/58 minutes

On Get Out Of The Way Of Your Own Heart Deluxe Chris Renzema colors outside the lines established on his previous release, his debut on Centricity. The first three songs make it clear that Renzema adds to his musical palette.

At times it’s more alternative rock, even a slight punk influence similar to The Cars or even early U2 except not as heavy. Programmed and synthesized elements are featured broadening the sound. I’m intrigued by the intricacy. At the core remains an acoustic element that is more or less depending on the song.

Some tracks might fit well on college radio, having no or only subtle references to faith making them perhaps more palatable to a wider audience.

Anyone might appreciate the vulnerability. I wonder if I’m hearing healthy deconstruction: getting rid of toxic ideas about self, faith and God. It doesn’t sound like Renzema is losing his religion, just in the process of discovering a purer form. This might be the current animating much of the flow.

“Stronger Love” is my favorite, with Leeland who co-wrote and performs. The lyrics speak to our tumultuous time:

Don’t have the answers, I’m just tired of picking sides
Done drawing these battle lines
Could our conversations look less like picket signs?
’Cause we’re not alone in these hard times

The bridge is a mesmerizing combination of blended vocals and melodious pop. It’s a sublime convergence.

The title track highlights how hard we can be on ourselves.

Now, take yourself down off the line
Now, show yourself a little grace

“Let it go,” Renzema sings in relation to our self condemnation.

“No Body (feat. Matt Maher)” is an expansion of Saint Teresa’s prayer. Renzema imagines how it can look.

Christ has no hands now but yours
Reaching down deep in the dirt
Covered in the soil, aching from the work
Christ has no hands now but yours

Maher and Renzema harmonize and trade stanzas.

“Just As Good (feat. Ellie Holcomb)” is a third collaboration. Each one is unique and excellent.

“The Right Things” states a new resolve:

I wanna hold on to the right things
And let go of the rest
’Cause time’s worth more than money
And I’m done buying what won’t last

“Blessed Are Those Who Follow You” closes the original release. It’s a paraphrase of the words of Jesus known as the Beatitudes. The only accompaniment is an electric guitar until you hear Dylan-like harmonica playing towards the end.

This deluxe addition is the definitive version. It has three new songs with varied styles giving the listener almost an hour of music.

Michael Dalton