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Pioneer by Cory Asbury | CD Reviews And Information | NewReleaseToday

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Pioneer [edit]
by Cory Asbury | Genre: AC/Inspo | Release Date: September 15, 2023

Track Listing
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01. Dawn (Intro)
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02. The Promise Is The Same
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03. Everything Belongs
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04. Misunderstood
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05. My Inheritance
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06. These Are The Days
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07. White Knuckled
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08. Pioneer
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09. Kind
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10. Only Jesus For My Pain
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11. Until We Meet Again
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Entry last edited by NRTeamAdmin on 02.26.24

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A Kind Reminder Of Who God Is | Posted September 14, 2023
What You Need To Know
After writing one of the most popular worship songs of this decade with "Reckless Love," contemporary artist Cory Asbury has left the Bethel Music label and moved to BEC Recordings (home of artists David Dunn, The Young Escape, and Tasha Layton, among others) where he's releasing his third full-length studio album, Pioneer. Drawing influence from Nashville's country music scene, the new album explores a side of Asbury we have yet to hear while maintaining honest and cutting lyrics that speak to the fragility of the human experience. 

Asbury co-wrote with several Nashville hitmakers, including Lori McKenna (Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift), Shane Stevens (Lady A, Walker Hayes), Tom Douglas (Kane Brown, Miranda Lambert), and Paul Mabury (Lauren Daigle, Chris Tomlin) to create an album that truly showcases his heart as an artist. 

"I'll always be the 'Reckless Love' guy," shared Asbury, "But my art has evolved. I've changed. I've grown. And hopefully, after more than three years, I've got something new to say. After all, that is the office of the artist--to give language to the things we all feel and experience."

What It Sounds Like
Cory is one of the most captivating songwriters in Christian music today, and Pioneer showcases his ability to hit differently than many of his peers. Dropping the radio-ready production of "Sparrows" and "The Father's House" on To Love A Fool and the Sunday-morning readiness of "Reckless Love," this album feels like a natural progression for the softer, and more contemplative side of Cory that was buried behind his biggest songs of the past three years. 

There's a quiet invitation here to lean in and reflect on the "beauty and the mess" ("My Inheritance"), on our hidden brokenness ("Misunderstood"), the weights and stresses ("White Kuckled"), the ways we've grown ("Pioneer"), and what we've lost along the way ("These are the Days"). 

Cory bookmarks it all with a gentle instrumental breath at the beginning ("Dawn [Intro]") and an encouraging, patient goodbye at the end ("Until We Meet Again").

Spiritual Highlights
Life is hard, and as followers of Christ, we try incredibly hard to crawl through with good intentions, picking up way too much shine and a few bad habits along the way. Sometimes, we need permission to lay down our guard, accept our shortcomings for what they are, and be seen and understood. Too often, Christian music attempts to be honest and relatable but winds up casting too large of a net with thematically vague messages, resulting in the musical equivalent of a friendly back rub. You feel relaxed, but it never touches the deep pain embedded and knotted in the muscles underneath. 

Cory digs in hard and still leaves you feeling every ounce of God's goodness. Jesus reminds us in John 16:33 that we'll have tribulation, but we'll have peace in Him. Pioneer embodies that verse without shying away from the reality of what tribulation really means. 

Best Song
In the first verse of "Kind," we hear of divorce, miscarriages, failure in addiction, and doubt in God's choice of who he heals. The chorus is the emotional chaos we feel due to an unrelenting and unkind world and the surprise of experiencing an ultimately kind God in return. The end reflection of the cross, displaying the real cost of genuine kindness, is an effective gut punch. "Kind" is a song you won't soon forget.

For Fans Of
Zach Williams, Rhett Walker, Crowder

Final Word
Cory has left his "Reckless Love" worship days in his pick-up's rear-view mirror, opting instead for a less polished, off-road message that plays better throughout the long week--on days when the faithful feel lost, hopeless, and desperate for a reprise from the stresses of a life never promised to be perfect. Once again, Cory reminds us that God's love is ever-present, always available, and still reckless.


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