Resurrection Letters, Volume II
- Wednesday, October 01, 2008
- All Things New
- All You'll Ever Need
- Invisible God
- Love Is a Good Thing
- Don't Give Up on Me
- Windows in the World
- I've Got News
- The Good Confession (I Believe)
I've got an ongoing not-so-private joke with Andrew Peterson concerning his singing voice. My previous review of his 2005 album The Far Country noted how some have said he sounds a little nasal. Unfortunately, I worded it in a way that suggested I felt the same. A couple of years later, I attended a concert where Peterson (knowing I was in attendance) told his audience that I said he sounded nasal—I scrunched down in my seat as I was booed. Touché.
For the record, I happen to like Peterson's voice. The comment in my review was my attempt to explain how a superior singer/songwriter like this can go largely ignored by so many who claim to love Christian music. His latest reminds me again how vastly underrated he is.
The resurrection theme isn't as prominent as one might expect, and in some cases a bit of a stretch, but that's fine. When the songwriting is this strong, the album doesn't need a recurring theme. I know I keep saying it in my reviews, but it's true: if you miss the late great Rich Mullins, Andrew Peterson is carrying his torch about as well as anyone. One track he's an evocative poet, the next a storyteller, and before long he's singing praise to the Lord—all within the same album. Though he resides in the same folk-pop vein throughout, he varies his scope from song to song (like Mullins) and thus more fully articulates Christian living than most of today's faith-based artists.
Listening to a song like "Hosanna," I'm struck by Peterson's rather gutsy approach, contrasting and confessing sins, then giving praise to the One who forgives all: "I have cursed the man you have made me/I have nursed the beast that bays from my blood/I have run from the One who would save me … See the long-awaited King, come to set his people free/Won't you tear the temple down, raise it up on holy ground?/Hosanna!"
"Love Is a Good Thing" is equally provocative. Think about how many Christian artists have sung about love by lazily reciting 1 Corinthians 13. Now consider Peterson's mastery of language to express the power and potency of love: "It knocked me down, it dragged me out, it left me there for dead/It took all the freedom I wanted and gave me something else instead/It blew my mind, it bled me dry, it hit me like a long goodbye/Nobody knows here better than I that it's a good thing/Love is a good thing."
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