Up to this point in his career, worship leader/singer-songwriter John Waller has been one of the many quiet, unheralded pop worship artists scattered throughout Christian music. His third studio album, As For Me and My House, probably won't change that, although it is satisfying in its simplicity.
While labeled as a worship artist, Waller avoids the arena-sized bombast common with big praise and worship bands like the many iterations of Hillsong. Instead, he takes a mellow, slightly folk approach, sprinkled with some pop rock sensibilities appropriate for radio play. In fact, As For Me and My House is at its strongest when it doesn't try to do too much. "Our God Reigns Here" struggles too much to be anthemic, and the title track attempts to be steady and profound, but ends up simply being dull. Meanwhile, "The Marriage Prayer" and "Somebody Else's Story" are quiet folksy tunes that come across as being much more sincere. At the same time, "Yes" is a surprisingly capable pop rock song with a catchy, upbeat chorus.
Thankfully, Waller also avoids the typical worship tendency to fall into generic, uninspired lyrics. While many of his tracks are certainly not groundbreaking, songs like "Bless Us and Keep Us" show welcome references to Scriptures that one wouldn't expect to hear. The aforementioned "Somebody Else's Story" also has a welcome theme, as Waller expresses a desire to be used in God's plans for bringing someone to salvation. "Man of the Valley" is another very capable country/folk track, where Waller demonstrates that the greatest spiritual growth happens in life's valleys.
As For Me and My House probably won't garner a lot of attention, but it is a solid, better than average worship/pop album. John Waller has shown that he is capable of writing simple, appealing tunes and coupling them with thought-provoking lyrics, and the end result is a definite success.- Review date: 5/1/11, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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