10,000 Reasons - Matt Redman’s eighth album - was launched earlier this month, and promptly headed straight to the top of the US Christian Soundscan and iTunes Christian Album Chart.
And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, it marks the first time that a British artist has ever reached the top spot - let alone doing it in the very first week of release.
“I hope these songs are going to give people a way to encounter God, and to express their hearts to Him,” says Matt.
“I’ve been so encouraged by the release week - there was a nice buzz here in the UK, and it was nice to see a retailer like HMV stocking it ... apparently I get filed between Lou Reed and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, which is all good with me.
"I like seeing our Jesus hymns sitting right next to that stuff on the shelf. If this album has some momentum then I hope that every single bit of that counts towards advancing the kingdom of God and making much of Jesus.”
What does Matt think of the album's success?
“This album feels like such a team effort,” says Matt. “I know it’s my name on the cover, but really from the writing and the recording to the production there were so many brilliant people involved.
"Not to mention the 1,100 worship leaders who were at the LIFT event we recorded this at. So now as I listen I hear all of this in what we ended up with - everyone’s heart and creativity weaved together in one record. I think God loves us to think ‘team’.”
If it’s a cliche to talk about the ‘difficult second album’, then surely by the time a songwriter is preparing to record his eighth there must be all manner of issues to overcome. But there is nothing about 10,000
Reasons that sounds tired, lazy or formulaic. How does Matt do it?
“For me this worship songwriting thing is an endless pursuit. When it comes to the worth of God there’s always so much more to say, and so many different ways to say it. I’m siding with the psalmist, when he said ‘My heart cannot stay silent!’”
The album - released in the UK by Kingsway and in North America by sixstepsrecords/Sparrow - features co-writes with Jonas Myrin, Jason Ingram, Chris Tomlin, Matt Maher, Tim Wanstall and Jesse Reeves.
The songs were then recorded live in Atlanta, Georgia, while Matt was leading worship for over 1,000 worship leaders during LIFT: A Worship Leader Collective, put on by Passion City Church and sixstepsrecords.
Matt Redman becomes first Brit to top US Christian music charts
Published 30 July 2011 | Kingsway