Album Review: “Cathedrals” by Tenth Avenue North


Courtesy of Carol Anderson/CMA Media Productions

Tenth Avenue North released their fourth album “Cathedrals”.

Jacob Beals

“Cathedrals” is the fourth and latest album by Tenth Avenue North, featuring 11 tracks. According to the album’s press release, the record is meant to let people know that God is always with them. 

The album starts off in a very uplifting matter with “No Man is an Island”, a song about not being alone. Tenth Avenue North reminds listeners how much easier life can be with help from God and from friends. The lyrics are aimed to give inspiration for the big tasks life brings.

Here is a video blog by lead singer Mike Donehey about “No Man is an Island”.

“Stars in the Night” continues the trend of inspirational lyrics but this time the focus of the words are more on the guidance God can give by relating it to the brightness of the stars.

The album takes a completely different tone for the third track, “Iseu, Dulcis Memoria”. This song is sung by Audrey Assad instead of lead singer Donehey and it sounds more like a classical hymn instead of a rock song. It lasts only about a minute, but it is an interesting and unique inclusion to the record.

Next, is the title track “Cathedrals” which reminds the audience that no one is perfect and that everyone’s life is a beautiful thing that needs to be preserved. The song has a rock beat but an organ can be heard in the background making a cool reference to something that could be found in a literal cathedral.

“I Need You, I Love You, I Want You” has few instruments because it gives focus to the vocals. As the song progresses, the singers’ emotions and voices get louder and a string section is audible in the background, adding to the intensity of the lyrics. 

Here is “I Need You, I Love You, I Want You”, released by Tenth Avenue North on their YouTube channel. 

“The Spark” feels like a beautiful prayer from Donehey as he tells God he trusts him but at the same time he is asking God to help him with his problems that could break their relationship and cause pain in Donehey’s own life.

A quicker-paced track, “Heaven’s Sound”, has lyrics about the differences from earth compared to heaven and ponders the way life would be there. This song is by no means as intimate as the previous songs on the album but it still feels meaningful.

Hard parts about life are sang about in “Stay” as a message about having and keeping faith in God, which is used as an answer to help get rid of life’s everyday frustrations.

“We Won’t Numb the Pain/Fire” is two songs combined into one track. The song starts off with a heavier rock beat as Donehey sounds frustrated while he sings about how much hurt can come into our lives and how important it is to focus on God through those times.

The second half of the track changes the tone completely as lyrics become less dark and more uplifting with an acoustic sound. It is a unique track because it combines two different sounding songs together.

Here is a video capturing lead singer Donehey’s day released on YouTube. 

One of the most upbeat songs on the album “Closer” matches the message about letting life’s problems go.

The album closes with a slow and gentle song entitled “All the Earth is Holy Ground”. The proclamation of the final song says no matter where people may travel God is there with them. This gives the listeners one last bit of encouragement to think about as the record wraps up. 

“Cathedrals” is an uplifting album overall with a lot of the music having a common theme reminding the audience that God is on their side no matter what. Every track on it feels joyous and positive giving the listener things to take and think about, but at the same time giving them inspirational lyrics as well.