Beach Street Records' roster may be small, but apparently there's always room for one more. John Waller- a worship leader from Colorado and former frontman of the band According To John- brings his collection of inspirational songs to the masses, with the March 6th release of The Blessing.
The title track is already making the radio rounds, bolstered by guest vocals from Casting Crowns frontman Mark Hall. "The Blessing" lyrically invites the listener to make that daily choice to positively affect the people around them, "This day / You set life, You set death right before us / This day / Every blessing and curse is a choice now / And we will choose to be a blessing for life."
Waller admits to gaining much of the inspiration for his songs from reading. "Something Big" is based off a popular quote by John Haggai- "Attempt something so impossible that unless God is in it, it's doomed to failure." He also received a challenge from Beach Street's owner, Mark Miller, to write a song about the prodigal son without using the term 'prodigal' in it- the result being the beautiful "Still Calls Me Son."
With the exception of the opener "Calling For a Flood"- which gives itself over to a chorus worthy of any Passion event- most of the tracks are self-contained sermons, delivering a thought on God and then exploring it. Fans of Casting Crowns, and similar artists will find a lot to like in John Waller's music. There's a pervasive spiritual longing in these songs- begging God for change, for something greater than the norms of Christian life- a change and experience that can only come with Divine involvement. A majority of themes are centered on the individual- our identity in Christ, times of waiting, our desire to do great things, needing forgiveness, our desire for His Holy Spiritů
The album is radio-friendly CCM at heart. Musically- it's rather conformist and non-explorative, sticking to established paradigms. Sonically quite similar to a hundred other modern Christian artists you've heard- however, these are the songs of Waller's heart, and it shows. Worth a listen.- Review date: 2/20/07, written by David Goodman
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