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If We Are the Body

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"If We Are the Body"
Single by Casting Crowns
from the album Casting Crowns
Released July 26, 2003 (2003-07-26)
Format Digital download
Recorded Glow In The Dark Studio (Decatur, GA)
Zoo Studio (Franklin, TN)
Genre CCM, acoustic rock
Length 3:58
Label Beach Street
Writer(s) Mark Hall
Producer(s) Mark A. Miller, Steven Curtis Chapman
Casting Crowns singles chronology
"If We Are the Body"
(2003)
"Who Am I"
(2004)

"If We Are the Body" is a song recorded by Christian rock band Casting Crowns. Written by Mark Hall and produced by Mark A. Miller and Steven Curtis Chapman, it was released as the lead single from the band's 2003 self-titled debut album through Beach Street Records on July 26, 2003. The song, originally written by Hall as a "teaching tool" for his youth group, is a CCM and acoustic rock song. It incorporates the violin, mandolin, and accordion in its arrangement and questions why the Christian church does not minister impartially.

"If We Are the Body" received positive reviews from music critics, who praised its lyrics and arrangement, and it was nominated for the awards for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year at the 35th GMA Dove Awards. The song spent three weeks at number one on the Radio & Records Christian AC and Christian CHR charts and peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs and Hot Christian AC charts.

Background and recording[edit]

According to lead singer Mark Hall, "If We Are the Body" was originally written for use as a "teaching tool" in his youth group. Hall, a youth pastor, said that "[the youth group had] forgotten what the body of Christ looked like" and commented that "The world is well aware of what the church is against, but they aren’t always aware of what it’s for. Everybody in the body of Christ is given gifts to minister with; and when Christians aren’t using these gifts, the body suffers".[1] Hall's inspiration for writing the song came from the second chapter of the book of James, where the writer "admonishes" readers to "steer clear of giving preferential treatment to any one particular group over another, such as favoring the rich over the poor".[2]

"If We Are the Body" was produced by Mark A. Miller and Steven Curtis Chapman. It was recorded at Glow In The Dark Studio in Decatur, Georgia and Zoo Studio in Franklin, Tennessee. The song was engineered by Matt Goldman and Sam Hewitt.[3]

Composition[edit]

"If We Are the Body" demonstrates a CCM and acoustic rock sound, "supplemented by energetic instrumental spurts and tight melodies".[4] It utilizes the mandolin, violin, and accordion in its arrangement.[5]

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"If We Are the Body" is a song with a length of three minutes and fifty-eight seconds.[6] It is set in common time in the key of F minor and has a tempo of 126 beats per minute. Mark Hall's vocal range in the song spans from the low note of B1 to the high note of A2.[7] A CCM song,[7] it has an acoustic rock sound[8] and incorporates the violin, mandolin, and accordion in its arrangement.[5] Featuring "energetic instrumental spurts and tight melodies",[4] the song "admonishes the church for giving preferential treatment to any one particular group over another" and questions why the church does not minister impartially.[1] The song's chorus, which references the Christian concept of the body of Christ, asks "If we are the body, why aren't his arms reaching?/Why aren't his hands healing?/Why aren't his words teaching?/And if we are the body?/Why aren't his feet going?/Why is his love not showing them there is a way?"[2] "If We Are the Body" challenges the church to welcome outsiders[9][10] and to "get more visibly involved in changing this world".[5]

Critical reception and accolades[edit]

"If We Are the Body" received positive reviews from music critics. Kim Jones of About.com noted it as a "highlight" from Casting Crowns.[11] Andy Argyrakis of CCM Magazine said that the song "commands attention" of lead singer Mark Hall.[4] Belinda S. Ayers of Christian Broadcasting Network described it as "powerful" and "catchy".[9] Steve Best of Cross Rhythms felt it was an example of Casting Crowns being "more... than rock bluster".[5] Russ Breimeier of The Fish felt "If We Are the Body" evokes "Michael Card and Keith Green" in its lyrical message.[10] At the 35th GMA Dove Awards, "If We Are the Body" was nominated for the awards for Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year.[12]

Chart performance[edit]

"If We Are the Body" was released to Christian AC and Christian CHR radio on July 26, 2003[13][14] as the lead single from Casting Crowns' eponymous debut album.[15][16] It debuted at number thirty-seven on the Billboard Hot Christian Songs chart for the chart week of August 23, 2003[17] and dropped off the chart the following week.[18] The song re-entered at number thirty-seven for the chart week of September 6, 2003,[19] In its seventh chart week, "If We Are the Body" advanced to number twenty-four[20] and in its tenth chart week, it advanced to number seven.[21] In its twelfth chart week, "If We Are the Body" reached its peak position of number three on the Hot Christian Songs chart.[22] It also peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot Christian AC chart[23] and spent three weeks atop both the Radio & Records Christian AC and Christian CHR charts.[24]

Live performances[edit]

Seven musicians with various instruments are performing on a stage.
The band performing "If We Are the Body" in 2011.

Casting Crowns has performed "If We Are the Body" live in concert. At a concert on April 1, 2005 at Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the band opened up their set list with the song.[25] At a concert on November 12, 2005 at the Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, they performed it as the third song on their set list.[26] They performed the song at a concert held on March 22, 2008 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.[27] Casting Crowns performed "If We Are the Body" as the second song on their set list at their February 4, 2010 concert at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.[28] The band performed it at their February 16, 2012 concert at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan.[29]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits taken from Allmusic.[30]

Charts[edit]

Release and radio history[edit]

Date Format Label
July 26, 2003 Christian AC radio[13] Beach Street/Reunion
Christian CHR radio[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b MacIntosh, Dan (July 2004). "Storytellers" (PDF). CCM Magazine (Salem Publishing) 27 (1). Retrieved July 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Price, Deborah Evans (September 10, 2005). "Breaking the Mold". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 117 (37): 28–29. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Casting Crowns CD Album". CD Universe. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Argyrankis, Andy (December 2003). "In Review: Music" (PDF). CCM Magazine (Salem Publishing) 26 (6): 64. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c d Best, Steve (January 1, 2004). "Casting Crowns – Casting Crowns". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Casting Crowns by Casting Crowns". iTunes. Apple Inc. October 7, 2003. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Casting Crowns – If We Are the Body Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com EMI Christian Music Group. MN0049074. 
  8. ^ Farias, Andree. "The Altar and the Door, Christian Music Review". The Fish. Christianity Today. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ a b Ayers, Belinda S. "Music Review: Casting Crowns". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Breimeier, Russ. "Casting Crowns, Christian Music Review". The Fish. Christianity Today. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ Jones, Kim. "Casting Crowns – 'Casting Crowns'". About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Nominees for the GMA's 35th Annual Music Awards". Gospel Music Association. Archived from the original on June 26, 2004. Retrieved August 16, 2012. 
  13. ^ a b "Going for Adds – Christian AC". Radio & Records. VNU Media. July 26, 2003. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Going for Adds – Christian CHR". Radio & Records. VNU Media. July 26, 2003. Retrieved July 31, 2012. 
  15. ^ Herman, Michael. "Overnight Sensation". The Fish. Christianity Today. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ Price, Deborah Evans (July 19, 2003). "Miller Starts Christian Label". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media) 115 (29): 6. Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Christian Songs (August 23, 2003)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Hot Christian Songs (August 30, 2003)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Hot Christian Songs (September 6, 2003)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Hot Christian Songs (October 11, 2003)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Hot Christian Songs (November 1, 2003)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Hot Christian Songs (November 15, 2003)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "Hot Christian Adult Contemporary (December 20, 2003)". Billboard. VNU Media. Archived from the original on December 17, 2003. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c "Music News Archive: December 2003". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  25. ^ DiBiase, John (April 3, 2005). "All Things New Tour 2005". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  26. ^ Mabee, Justin (November 16, 2005). "Lifesong Tour". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  27. ^ Pinkham, Paul (March 24, 2008). "Concert review: Casting Crowns serious about faith, not themselves". The Florida Times-Union (jacksonville.com). Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  28. ^ Brownlee, Bill (February 5, 2010). "Review: Casting Crowns". Back to Rockville. Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  29. ^ DeBoer, Terry (February 17, 2012). "Casting Crowns inspires Van Andel Arena crowd". The Grand Rapids Press (MLive.com). Retrieved August 5, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Casting Crowns – Casting Crowns (Credits)". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Casting Crowns Albums & Song Chart History – Christian Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 11, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Year-end Hot Christian Adult Contemporary Titles (2004)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 25, 2004. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Year-end Hot Christian Singles & Tracks Titles (2004)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. December 25, 2004. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  34. ^ "Decade-end Hot Christian AC (2000s)". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2009. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 

External links[edit]