A Surprise for All the Right Reasons
Posted March 26, 2013
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Having launched back in 2003, the JJ Weeks Band is certainly making a name for themselves in the industry. Comprised of David Hart (bass), Robbie Fritz (drums), Cody Preston (guitar) and lead vocalist JJ Weeks, the group has toured extensively over the last ten years, all while releasing two solid independent EPs and catching the attention of many in the songwriting circuit.
As the latest addition to label InPop Records line up, All Over The World, the band's debut project, was birthed out of a difficult three-year season the group walked through in their personal lives, ranging from the death of loved ones to heath issues following a complicated pregnancy. Through it all however, the band walked out with their faith strengthened.
With a desire to share uncompromised real life messages, the band hopes the album reaches out to listeners and connects with them through the various trails they might be facing. "We want people to know that God has their back," vocalist JJ Weeks says about the album, "that they can trust Him in the midst of the struggles of life because He loves us,"
Beginning the album with a sweeping arrangement, "Is It Ever" combines epic orchestration with deep melodies and grinding guitars. A song of honesty, the lyrics serve as reminder that God works all things together for our good, even the most chaotic circumstances.
"Screaming Outloud" cries out for God in the midst stressful situations in life where it feels like everything is falling upon shoulders at once. It concludes in the moving bridge that because of God‘s love for us, everything will be turn out light in the end.
"What Kind Of Love" possessing a melodically haunting chorus, is a sobering recount of the selfless sacrifice Christ made for us on the cross: "What kind of love would take my place and die on a cross just to show me grace? / What kind of love would reach within and love me in spite of all my sin? / No greater love has any man ever known."
The folksy "We've Been There" relates to whatever struggles the listener is going through, and despite the hopeless that seems unending at times, God will always bring beauty from the rubble. "Sunrise" openly talks about shaken faith and the frustration of waiting, vulnerably singing out in the chorus: "I'm waiting on the sunrise… and I can't wait for long."
You might recognize "Let Them See You," co-penned by Third Day keyboardist and producer Scotty Wilbanks, on American Idol alumni Colton Dixon's debut earlier this year. The song goes back to the band's worship leading roots, and becomes an invitation for God to rid us of our selfish agendas and make Himself known in our lives. While the Weeks band version sounds less polished than Dixon's, it allows the passionately prayerful lyrics to go to a deeper level.
"Flood Down" lyrically mirrors MercyMe's "Bring The Rain," saying that if the pain of the storm is the only way we'll grow closer to God, then allow Him to bring the rain and flood our lives. "All Over The World" serves as the strongest track on the album musically, taking a corporate worship approach with a bounce that is sure to get you praising along.
Concluding the album, "You Are The One" and "Save Us" serve as challenging messages. The first encourages us to deny ourselves and realize only God can give us true life, while the second, and most lyrically profound on the project, depicts the story of the lost and broken around us, it being our duty to reach them with the love of Christ. I feel the latter of the two would have been better incorporated midway through the album, but overall, ties things up on a strong note.
I was surprised by JJ Weeks Band's All Over The World
, and for all the best reasons. The ten cuts offered boast musical maturity, and the rich and powerful songwriting is sure to connect with anyone who listens. While the lyrics never shy away from the topics of pressure and pain, the album never feels overwhelmingly heavy, and beautifully conveys the promise of hope we have in Jesus. Meaningful and full of heart, this is an album well worth the investment.
Song to Download Now:
"Is It Ever" (Get it from iTunes here
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