When Beautiful Eulogy announced the creation of a third EP album, the critical success of their previous two albums left no doubt the trio would deliver a sound, rich composition. Praised for their unique melodies, Beautiful Eulogy have earned a reputation for integrating explicit Reformed theology into their doxology and lyrical cultural commentary. Yet, where theology fails to engage the heart, Beautiful Eulogy paint a perspective rife with personal struggle and pain in their new album.
Following the practicality of their lyrical themes, “Mosaic (feat. Aaron Strumpel)” includes controversial themes of addiction, lust, and apostasy. However, while these are mature in nature, the theological context they are wrapped in provides a biblical perspective to these difficult, personal struggles.
Despite musical performances, tours, and other record-related engagements with Humble Beast, Beautiful Eulogy had been relatively silent up until this year. Returning to the scene, when talking about the album’s influence and the sovereignty of God, trio member Braille comments, “Since we’re adding depth to the weight of words, if your angle and my angle are, like, very far apart, but anchored in the same theological truth, I think that’s really dope.”
Exemplifying Braille’s comment, Worthy brings the sovereignty of God home by fostering a reverent sense of adoration for God which arrives after a long dark night of tribulation and uncertainty. Though their backgrounds and experiences differ, Braille reminds us of the fellowship found in grounded theology.
The album art is reminiscent of the style Beautiful Eulogy has become popular for. The rich font and simple background emphasize the importance of the single-word album title, Worthy, demonstrating the high esteem and value of language found within the trio’s songs. Keeping in harmony with their Christo-centric lyrics, that which is considered worthy here is Christ Himself.
Beginning with “Weight” and later in “Devotion”, Beautiful Eulogy continues to bring spoken word to life through their unique integration of poetry and beats. The return of Art Azurdia with his rich teaching confirms that Beautiful Eulogy, while dabbling in new styles, is not finished with their hard-hitting mid-album preaching.
The collaborative pieces of “Omnipotent” and “Messiah” introduce a novel rock melody to the group featuring Seattle’s King’s Kaleidoscope and Citizens (formerly Citizens & Saints) respectively. These collaborations have been met with little surprise yet much anticipation since Braille’s appeareance on King’s 2016 album, The Beauty Between, and Citizens signed with Humble Beast September this year.
As the album wraps up, the penultimate item, “Slain” revives the chorus of the preceding album’s “Organized Religion”, now overtoned with a faster, robotic voice. Implicit in this is an acknowledgement to where Beautiful Eulogy have been and the on-going struggles they confront as Christians.
Closing on “Worthy”, the trio reminds its audience that Christ remains at the center of all worship. Having now shared their arduous journey, they end with the cry of Revelation that He alone is worthy of all praise.
The Bottom Line
If Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress were recreated as a studio album, it would be ‘Worthy’. The creative flow of the story told in the album reflects the hard-pressed Christian soul, weighed down by the world, crying out to the sovereign God in confident praise. It goes without saying: the four-year hiatus was worth the wait.