Matt Dean has released a creative and innovative album called Metanoia, which is perfect for Lent and for bringing a faith-filled perspective on the uncertainty and suffering caused by the coronavirus pandemic, writes Andy Drozdziak.
Matt Dean is a father of four, based in Kent and works as a technical operator for the BBC. He is on a mission to wake the Church up to the astonishing power and effect of the death and Resurrection of Jesus.
Some songs speak of an urgency to live out our baptismal call to be in union with Christ and to share His light and hope. Take, for example, his cover of the Godfrey Birtill song For In Christ, containing the words “It’s scandalous-God raised us up with Jesus” and referencing St Paul’s understanding of hope and faith in Jesus.
It’s a bold declaration of finding freedom and life in the love of Christ, and enabling this to spill out to bless others: “Continue all your life to live deep rooted and built up, overflowing/Alive Alive Alive Alive with Christ!”
The lovely synth-dominated opener Love No Torrents Drown has echoes of producer Brian Eno (James, U2), whilst the loud, crashing guitars, present in For In Christ and The Joy Song, call to mind Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins.
Transformation is a key theme on the album, as shown in the words metanoia, kyrie, surrender and change in his songs. Song of Surrender-II repeats the line “when I surrender to Jesus, we become one,” taken from the popular Miracle Hour booklets.
The importance of community and collaboration is evident throughout Metanoia, with several musicians playing a variety of instruments, including a duduk, synths and organ. There are also some covers on the album. Matt Dean relishes the idea of working alongside different musicians-especially those he knows well, such as Katherine Lee, an experienced musician who has led worship at the Northern Catholic Conference in Liverpool and the New Dawn Conference in Walsingham.
Her song Take Your Place is a real highlight, showcasing Matt Dean’s gift for heartfelt worship and leading worshippers before the throne of God, whilst declaring the truths of the faith. Take Your Place is an impressive closing track, leaving the listener with a desire to surrender in faith.
Another honest, raw and powerful reflective song is Kyrie, a cry for the Lord’s mercy and grace in difficulty and containing this moving lyric: “When you hurt the ones you love, you become a stranger to yourself, Kyrie Eleison.” These sentiments will surely resonate with many people who are dealing with brokenness and pain during the days of Covid-19.
It’s an album which is packed with references to quotes from the saints. Take for example, Song of Surrender-I, which contains excerpts from St Ignatius’ prayer of self-giving : “Take Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, My understanding, my entire will, All that I am, and all that I have.” The vast majority of the song Metanoia, meanwhile, comes from the writings of St Augustine and the Psalms.
The album, Metanoia, is released at a significant moment-in the midst of a pandemic and in the midst of Lent. A sense of reflection and a call to be free from fear is certainly present. One of the songs, in fact, is entitled Do Not Be Afraid.
A wonderful way of dealing with the uncertainty of the pandemic, and of going deeper in Lent, is to get hold of a copy of Metanoia. Listening to it will boost your faith and help you encounter God in new ways, through quiet worship and energetic praise.
- Metanoia is available here: https://mattdeanmusic.bandcamp.com/