After the grand entry on the blog stage, I have actually not found the time to write anything for it of late. And while this particular entry is not about me, it is about something that has certainly had an effect on my life.
I'm talking about Andrew Peterson's latest album, Resurrection Letters, Vol. 2. I simply can't stop listening to the album. It is so good! And I really feel the need to get my thoughts out about it. So here is song-by-song detail of what I have thought through the listening:
All Things New: I had the privilege of hearing this performed live at his Christmas tour a year ago. I had goose bumps then, and was thrilled to hear at long last as a polished single. The song is a call to anyone who feels broken, whether from sin or circumstance, to come to Christ, who makes all things new. It's a great opening song, a superb song to play first thing in the morning ("Rise Up, O you sleeper"), and a great reminder that God is in the business of making things new.
Hosanna: This is easily my favorite song on the album. I found I really didn't understand what the word Hosanna meant. It is used as a cry of praise, but it literally means, "Save Me!" And so Andrew uses that cry for that purpose, to admit to all the sin and stubborness that he has given into and how he needs Christ to save him. It is such a sweeping song, what with the acoustic guitars, strings, and dulcimer being used. More importantly, it is the cry of my own heart as I see my own need for God to rescue me from this sinful flesh I give into.
All You'll Ever Need: This is a well crafted song that uses the stories of Elijah and Elisha to compare with the blood of Jesus. Honestly, it would make for a great sermon illustration. The message is simple: when you have the blood of Jesus to wash away your sin, you have all you'll ever need.
Invisible God: This is such a beautiful song laid out wonderfully with a piano at its base. Andrew lists in simple ways that the God we serve, who may be invisible, has made Himself clearly visible to us nearly every where we go. One day, this invisible God will show His face to us. Until then, we can be reminded that as winter comes with a cold death, spring brings new life and resurrection, just one of the ways that this great God unseen has shown Himself to us.
Hosea: This song is written from the viewpoint of Gomer, how she ran from the one who loved her, only to find herself enslaved in the mess she made for herself. I would classify this song as the most unique in the album. Something about the drums and electric guitars set it apart. But the message is tremendously written to show how we have all run away from God but He pursues us and saves us.
Love Is A Good Thing: With all that TV shows and movies make of what they call "love", it is great to hear a song like this. It's almost like Andrew is making love sound horrible, only to say it is a good thing for love to "take just a little too much, to burn you like a cinder til you're tender to the touch". His point is that love will take all that is bad in your life, destroy it, and leave only what is gold behind. Yes, it hurts, but love is such a good thing when it is finished with the process.
Don't Give Up on Me: This song sounds simple in title, but it is so strong. It is a love song to his wife, how he is bound to fail, how they have struggled through difficult times to keep their love for one another alive. The third verse leads from the struggles they have had to the wonder of the family they have and how God has blessed, both in lyrics and music as another beautiful piano piece comes through. This is a gorgeous song and a reminder to me that even though I may not be married, this is the kind of love that must be had to make a marriage strong.
Rocket: Andrew released a children's album not too long ago, and this kinda harkens back to that, though it's not a children's song. But it does talk about the wonder of a rocket taking off into outer space and how one day, we will take off as well to meet our Savior in the air. Great banjo picking by Ron Block of Union Station fame.
Windows in the World: This song, like Invisible God, uses everyday examples, such as movie heros, communion, and marriage, to show how the goodness of God is evident in every day things.
I've Got News: Every honest Christian would have to agree with this song and its message. If people think we are great people who never mess up and life is great all the time, there is news for them. If they think that there's no one to love them and take care of them in this life, there is even better news for them.
The Good Confession: This song is exactly that - a clear confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. It is a short testimony of Andrew Peterson and it ends with a grand choir that was made up by volunteers who came out to record it via Andrew's request. It is so stirring to hear that many people sing with one voice that Jesus is the Christ.
Have Your Way: While the Good Confession might have been the song to ultimately end on, this is a great conclusion. You certainly get a sense that he's in the Shire, what with the whistle and all, but it is very hymn like and great cry for God to do what He must to have His way in our lives.
So there you have it. I can't say that you will like it yourself (I have friends who can't stand the nasal quality of his voice), but this is not your typical Christian music that sounds like it was just made to get radio air time. This is art in the truest sense of the word. The songs are so well crafted and polished that it was well worth waiting all this time for. If you would like to hear it fully without having to pay for it first, you can check out this online jukebox. I cannot recommend it enough and honestly believe that I will be listening to these songs many years down the road.