Jason Gray [A Way To See In The Dark]
Posted September 02, 2011
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release A Way To See In The Dark by Jason Gray, a Christian singer-songwriter in the style of Derek Webb, Bebo Norman, Andrew Peterson and Shaun Groves. Jason’s fixation on redemption is based on his history as a kid with a chronic stutter who eventually discovered his calling as a singer meant that his weaknesses are nothing to hide. In fact, because of our weaknesses God’s grace and strength are perfectly revealed. Jason says “I'm actually grateful now that my speech handicap never afforded me the option of masking my weakness behind an illusion of competency. Whenever I opened my mouth, there it was for all to see... I couldn't fool others or myself. I think the best thing that can happen to us is to be 'found out' for all that we are, our religious and human pretenses stripped away to reveal our sin, pettiness, and weakness. Then we can devote our energies to better endeavors than the constant masquerade of sufficiency.” Those comments sum up the theme of Jason’s newest release A Way To See In The Dark which is the top album by Jason Gray and one of the best albums of the year.
Look no further than first single and opening track “Remind Me Who I Am” for Jason’s heart and transparent song-writing style. I have played the song non-stop since I first heard it. It is hooky and filled with biblical Truth just like Jason’s hit song “More Like Falling In Love.” The lyrics, “If I’m Your beloved, can You help me believe it?” keep the theme from “I Am New” going, which is that if we would only run to Christ, He would remind us who we really are. For sure, the first four tracks are all catchy, upbeat and should all find their way onto Christian radio. The next songs, “The End of Me” and “No Thief Like Fear” are vintage Jason Gray songs. Jason is at the top of his songwriting game with these songs, with incredible lyrics in both songs, “the end of me is not the enemy, it’s where mercy gets the better part of me,” and “I know insecurity is the worst of my own enemies.” Jason consistently finds a way to express my own spiritual feelings and prayerful yearnings of my heart. As if those songs weren’t impressive enough, “Good To Be Alive” which was co-written with Brandon Heath and Jason Ingram will remind you of Brandon’s recent hit song “Your Love” both musically and lyrically. Jason yet again yields his signature “gourmet” stamp in the bridge where he croons “I won’t take it for granted, I won’t waste another second, All I want is to give You, A life well lived, to say “thank you.” Jason is my songwriter of the year.
The next half of the album is musically more similar to his past folk-style songs, and includes some of my favorite tracks on the album, especially “Without Running Away,” which is my favorite overall song on the album. The song is a heartfelt ballad and the chorus sticks with me as a daily prayer, “and bring my heart, to every day, and run the risk of fearlessly loving, without running away.” Piano based “Nothing Is Wasted” is another gem, with the opening lyrics “the hurt that broke your heart, and left you trembling in the dark” starts part one of the title track and flows seamlessly into “A Way To See In The Dark,” which is the thesis statement of the album and continues the message from “Nothing Is Wasted in the hands of the Redeemer” with the answer to the prayerful seeking in the chorus, “I’ll reach for Your hand in the night…’cause I’m giving up, giving in, once again a childlike faith is my only way to see in the dark.” Amen.
The basic message behind Jason’s songs is that “the added benefit is that people are able to see how God's grace works in a real person's life. When we come clean about our brokenness, Christ becomes the star of our testimony and not us.” If you like folk-style pop music, then Jason Gray is for you. I recommend picking up this great album along with Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue and All The Lovely Losers to get the full experience of Jason’s music. I’ve been very blessed to enjoy Jason’s songs and get to know his heart for God. I get welled up praying along with several of the songs. I love albums that have a consistent message and theme and that move me emotionally, such as Ocean by Bebo Norman, See You by Josh Wilson and Leaving Eden by Brandon Heath. In fact, if you like those albums, then you must get A Way To See In The Dark by Jason Gray.
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