Singer/Songwriter Mark Conklin Releases Groundbreaking Gospel Album
Music, Pop Culture

Singer/Songwriter Mark Conklin Releases Groundbreaking Gospel Album

Mark Conklin’s new groundbreaking gospel record The Gospel According to Mark hits stores this summer, but I don’t think the mastermind behind its twelve glory-giving songs (and twelve passages from the New Testament book of the same name) is planning on selling a billion copies and living off of the royalties. In the tradition of the many composers who came before him, each of them as devoted to Christ and His word as he is, Mark Conklin doesn’t much care for the money or the industrial side of the entertainment business.


What he does care about is making music that penetrates our consciousness and makes us think about God and His creations in a completely new light; one that is as humbling as it is affirming in all of the riches that love can deliver.

The Gospel According to Mark starts with “Take This Cup,” a smooth song that spins us along with its rollicking beat. Joined by a cast of able backing vocalists, Conklin struts his way through the verses with a swagger that is exclusive to a man who is completely sure of himself and his place in the universe.

With love in his voice and Christ in his heart, he lyrically dances with the colorful instruments supporting him with a carefree attitude that is infectious when you open yourself up to it. The inspired “Devil in the Temple” follows and doesn’t just continue the enveloping grooves, it enhances them for us to get a closer look at the vocalist who is responsible for their design.

“Make Way” fires off an articulate self-control before totally coming undone from the girth of Conklin’s swaying vocals, and could be described as the lynchpin of the entire record. None of the twelve songs on this album feel like they’re competing for attention, but rather that they’re each telling a piece of a story that is as old as time and has been translated into hundreds of different languages.

The sweet “Good News” wraps up the core of The Gospel According to Mark with zeal and could easily stand on its own as a successful contemporary Christian single.

I wasn’t expecting ”Make Way” to deploy the rhythm that it does, but rather than sounding out of place, it ties everything together nicely as an added accent to the already diverse collection of material presented here. Conklin isn’t done yet though, with the adapted “Through the Storm” and the powerful “Into the River” adding two more bursts of emotional virtuosity before The Gospel According to Mark comes to a poignant conclusion.

I don’t think that I was able to appreciate the imprint that this record left on me until after I had listened to it at least two or three times, but when I examine The Gospel According to Mark from top to bottom I’m forced to draw a single conclusion; Mark Conklin has arrived to challenge gospel music to evolve and incorporate the multicultural face of Christianity like never before, and as long as he’s making records like this one, he’s going to do just that.

Troy Johnstone

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