Hailing from Oregon, Shawn McDonald entered the music scene in 2004 with Simply Nothing. The singer/songwriter has since released two additional recordings Risen (2006) and Roots (2008). His fourth release from Sparrow Records, marked by its honesty and vulnerability, and titled Closer, is set for a March 2011 debut. McDonald wrote most of these 13 songs while “going through it” – a painful few years that brought about the kind of brokenness that brings one Closer to God. It’s a recurrent theme on the new album, one McDonald wrote mostly while in the midst of his struggles. While most of the songs were penned by McDonald, he shares several writing credits with Brandon Heath, Joy Williams, Ben Glover, and Josh Garrels, with the album being produced by Christopher Stevens (tobyMac, Sanctus Real). The project’s title, and first single “Closer” released to radio in October and is being played nationwide on a number of stations. McDonald hopes the songs – and his own mistakes and heartaches – can help others who are hurting, by pointing them to the One who heals.
“I don’t ever wish anybody to go through what I’ve been through,” he says. “But regardless of my pain, on days when I would be like Where are you, God?, I would remember that He is faithful. Even in my brokenness, there was always a deeper feeling of hope. God was showing me immense mercy, even as he was rocking my faith to the core. It was like he allowed things to crumble just so he could rebuild it all. God has redeemed me, and He is healing my heart. So I hope this record can be a redemption story for people, that God can use it to speak and bring hope. Because that’s what He’s done for me.”
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Really good Album| Posted March 26, 2011
It normally takes me a few listens to get used to Shawn's album. When I heard the first single, Closer, I immediately loved it. The piano intro was beautiful- his subdued vocals were stellar (as always) and the lyrics- although the theme is alittle overused in CCM- were heartfelt and you could tell that it was a true heartfelt prayer- not just a disconnected song that the artist would sing just to seem relatable to his listeners. This cat lives what he sings. You can tell.
The instrumentation in this album is alittle quirky but I love it. Mr. McDonald has a way of coming up with some fresh melodies that instantly capture your attention (HOPE). The use of strings sets him a part- and they are stunning- stuff I would love to have an instrumental of.
Control was the only song that I thought was odd- the vocals are strange- although I like them in the chorus.
It's worth picking up. Very easy listening. Best songs: Closer, Hope, The Space In Between Us, Mystery