John Waller, who originally wrote the songs on his debut album for his church, caught the attention of Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns, with his powerful lyrical style. Hall helped secure a deal for Waller at Casting Crowns' label home, Beach Street Records, and sings on Waller's debut radio song, "The Blessing." Waller's depth of maturity and ministry focus shine through his lyrics.
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Great release, top 10 of 2007!| Posted June 16, 2008
"Former "According to John" lead singer John Waller returns to the scene with an amazing release. "The Blessing" is a great anthem sung with Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. The other highlights are "Calling For A Flood" and "Still Calls Me Son". This year's Aaron Shust in my opinion."
John Waller [The Blessing]| Posted February 08, 2009 [MAIN REVIEW]
[ Main Review ]
It’s not everyday that you come across a debut album that has such an impact on you that
you have to question, are you sure this is a new artist? That is just the case with worship
leader and new artist, John Waller. Waller was singing with his indie group, According To
John when Casting Crowns lead singer and songwriter Mark Hall happened to come across
his songwriting. Hall then made it a point to sign Waller to his band’s own label, Beach
Street Records. In my opinion, it was definitely a good signing. It is apparent by listening
through ‘The Blessing’, Waller will around for a while. So let’s go ahead and get into the
music. That’s what you’re here for right?
The first track “Calling For A Flood”, which references John 3:30, where the Apostle John
says, “He must increase and I must decrease”. This brings the idea of a holy flood
cleansing our lives of the sin that constantly gets in the way of the Lord’s plan for us.
Increasing the Holy Spirit in our lives, in other words flooding our wrong from within us, will
therefore decrease ourselves to live in the Lord’s will. The music of “Identity” caught me
on first cue and kept my attention. Good rock hooks and guitars. The song title speaks
for itself. Our identity lies in the Lord. “I’m not the one I used to be/Cause no there is no
separating/You… from who I am.” See, you don’t have to worry, not only does the Lord
know you, but also your identity is within Him. “The Blessing” was the first song I heard,
which I heard on John’s MySpace page prior to getting the pre-release. I really like the
message behind this song. One line in the chorus says a lot about our lives. “Every
blessing and curse is a choice now”. Wow, this is so true. We have the choice whether to
be blessed or cursed in life. It’s up to us as to which one we choose. Casting Crowns’
Mark Hall sings in the song (which is cool!), and the first verse he sings made me feel good
while listening to the song. “Let it be said of us, that our hearts belong to Jesus/Let it be
said of us, that we spoke the words of life/Let it be said of us that our heritage is a blessing
for life”. The song references Deuteronomy 30:19, which says “…I have set before you life
and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life”. Great message!
Track four, “Still Calls Me Son”, has had a tremendous personal effect and has ministered
to me more then any other song I have ever heard! I was riding down the road one day
with my wife, and I was listening to the song, and while listening to it, I was pointing out to
her the message behind the song. At the end, I told her “This song just makes me feel…”
Then I started to cry. I couldn’t control myself, I just wept! I didn’t know what had come
over me, but never in my three years of writing have I ever felt like this. The song’s
message is none other then the story of the Prodigal Son. Now whether it’s comparable to
John’s own life story or not, I don’t know. But it really hit me, because at times in my
Christian walk I have felt just like this. When I think of the sacrifice Christ made for me, I
ask the Lord, how am I even worthy of the Salvation I have today? It really put in
perspective my life personally, and I pray that the song ministers to listeners in the way it
did with me. “Ancient Words” is another song that has an amazing chorus! It just got me
thinking. “By His blood we can enter in/To the blessing of Abraham/So place your right
hand upon our heads/And speak the ancient words.” With a direct reference to Salvation,
and the blood that was shed so that we may have it, really sheds light on that fact that
there’s only one way to Heaven.
The album is full of great songs, and of course great messages. The other tracks on the
album were great, with the last track closing out the album with applause. “Sacred Pages”,
written partly by Waller, and also taking from the hymn “Rock Of Ages”, sums up an album
that will definitely be one that people will be talking about for years to come.
John Waller is definitely an artist that you will want to keep an eye on in 2007. I wouldn’t
be one bit surprised if 2008 garners him a Dove Award nomination for ‘Best New Artist’ and
‘Best Album’. Mark my words. J You will see. So bottom line, if you are looking for an
exciting CD with not only a great message, but also great music to accompany it, then you
have to go out and pick this one up. You won’t be disappointed. This one is definitely
worthy of a 100%, A+!
It's been nearly a year since John Waller released his major label debut record and even though we didn't have the 'Writers' Closing Thoughts' in the first publishing of the review, I thought I would go back and add one.
Since we posted this review March 5, 2006, we have had the opportunity to meet John and become friends and supporters of his music ministry. Despite being overlooked by Christian radio, I have told John on several occasions in person and in e-mail, "Don't worry about that brother, you keep on keeping on for the Lord and He will
bless you." It's the artists that truly bring forth great ministering music that are often overlooked.
John will be releasing his sophomore album, 'Cling to the Call' on June 2, 2009, so keep an eye out for that one! If you haven't picked up a copy of this CD yet, I would suggest doing so. If you like groups like Casting Crowns, then John Waller would fit perfect into your musical tastes.
'The Blessing' indeed lives up to it's title, in that the message of the album, we pray will be a blessing to all who listen to it! Enjoy!
The Blessing| Posted October 26, 2011
A solid release by John featuring music that is both worshipful and that makes you think. I enjoy artists that create lyrics that make you think about things at a deeper level. As with John's other releases, this album has different styles that keep things interesting and keep from getting monotonous.
Great| Posted June 19, 2011
I just recently bought this album, and I really like it. The song "Still Calls Me Son" has to be my favorite, but the rest are pretty darn good as well. I am looking forward to picking up his newest record when I get the chance.
Provoking!| Posted March 25, 2008
John Waller brings theology to song! His lyrics are deep and make you think. They overflow with the love he has for the Lord. The music's purpose is to bring us into a deeper relationship with God.
The former lead singer of According to John is back.| Posted August 26, 2007
I first heard John sing when he was in the band According to John. It was good to see him release a solo CD a few years later.
"The Blessing" is the first single and features Mark Hall from Casting Crowns. Mark actually helped get John signed to Beach Street Records.
The song that has really spoken to me is the song "While I'm Waiting." It explains that while we are waiting on God we are called to continue to serve and worship Him.
This CD is great worship pop/rock music. John has done a great job. These songs John has led at the church where he is the worship pastor.
Fantastic| Posted July 16, 2007
This is one of the best CD's I have bought in a while, not a weak song in the bunch. And whats better is I actually had a chance to meet John not long ago and he is a genuine individual. You must get this CD, it is a great part of any collection.