Ross King, as well as his latest release, Perhaps I've Said Too Much, each seem to be studies in contrast. Though he is the worship pastor at his church and has released three successful worship projects, he is at his best as a singer/songwriter. It has been five years since the release of And All the Decorations, Too, and for music fans, it has been worth the wait. The new project is a big step forward lyrically, with crisp production and strong musicianship as well.
There are two specific threads that run throughout the record, both of which can be found in the opening track, "Light of the World." One thread, for lack of a better word, is the "twist." It's either the turn of a phrase, or an unexpected thought, or in this case, a beautifully simple song bursting with a not-so-simple premise. The other thread that can be found throughout the disc is that of self-reflection and looking at your own motives. In the opener, he admits to being cynical, judgemental, and even loud-mouthed.
Self-reflection is not limited to the individual, but is also used in looking at the Church itself. In the liner notes for "The Non-Religious Me," he asks "When are we going to learn that really spiritual people still have legitimate bouts with unbelief?," while singing, "They told me they'd be praying for me/ then they showed me to the door." On "Happy," he has real questions for the "megachurch" culture, asking if we are measuring success by the number of people in the seats. At the end of the song he sings, "Cause the crowds don't necessarily mean that God is truly blessed/ I think there is a chance that He's not happy about this."
In "Everybody Medicates," Ross calls for the church to become a safe place for honesty and confession. He reminds us that there are many people in our midst on Sunday morning who deal with destructive issues ranging from body image struggles, to Internet porn, to being workaholics. In the country-influenced "Why Me Lord," he contrasts the struggles of many here in America (cell phone batteries, not enough TV channels, maxed-out credit cards, white trash people at the country club, and a "Grande No-whip Mocha Latte" that's way too strong) with starving people in Africa, War in the Middle East and homeless people in New Orleans.
In all, this is a solid effort from start to finish. Ross King pushes the envelope a bit here, asking some hard questions without taking shots or sounding angry. This is a great listen for fans of Derek Webb, Jars of Clay, and Justin McRoberts. If you are a Matthew West or Mark Schultz fan wanting to go a little deeper, check out this record. If you are looking for a comfortable listening experience, be prepared for a bit of a jolt. However, If you want a disc that will stretch you and make you think, look for Perhaps I've Said Too Much.- Review date: 10/3/07, written by Rob Tyson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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