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JFH Music Review


Andrew Peterson, Counting Stars
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Andrew Peterson
Counting Stars



Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 37 seconds
Street Date: July 27, 2010


Andrew Peterson continues his tradition of rich storytelling and observations of everyday life with his latest effort, Counting Stars. On the one hand, the album is simply another Andrew Peterson album; great songs, thoughtful lyrics, slightly predictable. On the other hand, Counting Stars is one of Peterson's strongest albums to date and is better than a great majority of albums the Christian industry has put out this year.

All Peterson's albums are personal, but Counting Stars is especially introspective. The album begins with "Many Roads," an homage to Peterson's fans and continues with a song about the uncertainty and thrill of marriage, "Dancing in the Mine Fields." Peterson has written about marriage numerous times, but this time he captures its essence like never before. "Planting Trees" is a nod to Compassion International, an organization Peterson has supported for years. "The Magic Hour" is pretty but unremarkable, and "World Traveler" revisits the theme of finding satisfaction in family, a topic Peterson frequently writes about. Under two minutes long, "Isle of the Skye" is a transitional song followed by "God of my Fathers," a song that could have easily appeared on Behold the Lamb of God. Then, Peterson seems to change direction and the album finally gets interesting with "Fool with a Fancy Guitar." Peterson is at his best when he is most vulnerable, and "Fool with a Fancy Guitar" and the remaining four songs are some of the finest the artist has recorded to date. They examine the complexity of the human condition and man's deepest desire to connect with God.

Counting Stars is another success for Andrew Peterson, and the last five songs prove the artist can stretch beyond his comfort zone. I would like to see him stretch even further like Derek Webb on Stockholm Syndrome or Justin McRoberts on his covers album, but as long as Peterson keeps producing records of this caliber, I will continue to listen.

- Review date: 7/26/10, written by Laura Nunnery Love of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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JFH Staff's Second Opinion



With Counting Stars, folk pop master Andrew Peterson has released one of his most mellow works to date. While all of Peterson's albums could understandably be considered mellow, Counting Stars is even more so. Album opener "Many Roads" is a soft folk tune with gentle banjo accompaniment in the background, and that trend continues through much of the album. In contrast to prior releases such as Carried Along, the tracks on Counting Stars very rarely have any drums and are instead carried almost entirely by Andrew's whimsical vocals and sparse instrumental accompaniment. One notable exception is the powerful and beautiful ballad "You Came So Close," which speaks hopefully about never giving up even in the midst of sin and temptation. As usual, the entirety of the album is accented by Peterson's humbly unpretentious yet deeply poetic lyrics. Due to its less pop oriented nature, Counting Stars is perhaps not the most accessible of Peterson's albums, but to those who are already familiar with his work, it is yet another beautiful masterpiece displaying his delightful ability to create beauty in simplicity. - Timothy Estabrooks, 7/26/10

 

. Record Label: Centricity Music
. Album length: 12 tracks: 43 minutes, 37 seconds
. Street Date: July 27, 2010
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Many Roads (4:23)
  2. Dancing In The Mine Fields (3:30)
  3. Planting Trees (3:31)
  4. The Magic Hour (3:39)
  5. World Traveler (4:07)
  6. Isle of Skye (1:35)
  7. God of My Fathers (3:59)
  8. Fool with a Fancy Guitar (2:31)
  9. In the Night (4:22)
  10. You Came So Close (3:29)
  11. The Last Frontier (3:28)
  12. The Reckoning (How Long) (5:08)

 

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