Josh Wilson [Carry Me]
Posted April 07, 2013
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Josh Wilson is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter and storyteller with chart-topping hits and numerous industry awards. Now with Carry Me, his fourth project with Sparrow Records releasing April 9th, Wilson opens up his heart more than ever. Sharing about a very personal health issue dealing with anxiety and panic attacks, his new songs ultimately spread the message that through life’s difficult trials, it is only God who can carry us through it all. Bringing all his musical influences to bear—pop, folk, rock, classical, hymns, and more, Carry Me paints a refreshingly relevant musical palate that frames its message beautifully. In the midst of writing songs for a new record, Wilson began experiencing severe chest and shoulder pain as well as difficulty breathing, believing he was actually having a heart attack. Yet after numerous negative tests, he tried to get back to his normal life but soon began waking up frantic in the middle of the night, even canceling scheduled performances out of fear.
Josh writes about themes that cause me to hang on every word he sings, especially “Carry Me,” which is a prayerful song that moves me with these lyrics “I'm wide awake in the middle of the night scared to death, So I prayed God, would You make this stop, Father please hold on to me, You're all I've got.” Finding God in my moments of weakness and relying on Him completely for my strength is what this song is all about. It is a testament to Wilson the songwriter that he can make that concept as accessible as a moving “3 minute song.” Great examples of God showing “His light in my life” are found in the stand-out songs “Pushing Back The Dark,” “Faith Is Not A Feeling,” “I See God in You,” “Grace Enough for You,” “What A Mystery,” “Let There Be Light” and “Symphony.” In typical Josh Wilson fashion, he opens with a track that completely expresses the Truth of the Gospel with “Pushing Back The Dark.” The song really sets the tone for the album with the call to action—“Whatever you do, just don’t look back, cause somebody needs the light you have, whatever you do, just don’t lose heart, keep on pushing back the dark, let your light so shine, don’t underestimate the God you follow, keep on shining ‘til the whole world knows.”
“Faith Is Not A Feeling” takes it up a notch and honestly addresses the reality of the struggle of not losing our first love, Jesus, with the compelling lyrics—“We all know that feelings come and go, we all know that that emotions ebb and flow, some days, I’ve got to trust what I already know, that You never let go, when I don’t feel You moving, that doesn’t mean You’ve disappeared…I’ll keep on believing, cause faith is not a feeling.” You can’t help but want to reach out and be the Kingdom of God on earth as beautifully expressed in “Symphony” with these prayerful lyrics “Come all with all your heart, lift your voice and play your part in this symphony.” Amen. I find myself raising my hands in worship after those tracks, and then I’m compelled to reach out horizontally to help show others the love of Jesus.
“I See God in You” is a gorgeous biographical story-song about seeing God in Josh’s elderly neighbor Lillie Grace and special needs child Gabriel. While listening to “Let There Be Light,” I am challenged to practice "letting our light shine so that others may praise our Father in Heaven." That's how we can show God in us to others. Also, look for God in the "least of these" as Jesus tells us, "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me." In Josh’s emotional song “Here I Am Anyway” he lays out his need for Jesus similar to “Before The Morning” and “Fall Apart,” two of my favorite prayer-songs by Josh. “One Safe Soul” is a humble song of confession to his wife, “baby you show me the love of God, love is never blind, you see all the wrongs I try to hide, but you stay right by my side, when all the world does not, you’re the one safe soul I’ve got.”
Closing song “What I See Now” is the stand-out “gourmet” song on the album with Josh emotionally singing “If I go could back to the seventh grade, I’d tell myself you’d be okay, you’re the last one picked, the first one out, boy don’t let it get you down.” The song shifts to middle school—“you’re faking sick to stay at home, give it time, you will find, friends you’ll have your whole life.” The song is also profession of Josh’s journey from singleness to married life, his spiritual growth and learning how to be loved by God and others. The parallel of Josh singing comforting words to himself and the unconditional Love of our Savior is striking, “You’re gonna make it through, I promise that you do, somehow, I wish you could see what I see now, I see a perfect plan, I see a better man, you’ll be a better man, sometimes it takes a while, sometimes the trials, to open up your eyes...just keep on walking towards the light.” We often feel ashamed and unworthy of God’s perfect Love, but that’s the point. We aren’t worthy and God still wants all of us and loves us deeply. This entire album is about giving and accepting love.
I love albums that have a consistent message and theme and that move me emotionally, such as Ocean by Bebo Norman and Leaving Eden by Brandon Heath. In fact, if you like those albums, then you must get Carry Me. This album grabs me with every song, is the best overall album by Josh Wilson and is one of the top albums of the year. There are no filler tracks, and this is truly a five star effort. Having previously enjoyed Josh Wilson's hit songs "Savior, Please," "3 Minute Song,""Before The Morning" and “I Refuse,” I have eagerly anticipated Carry Me. This album firmly establishes Josh as the premier folk style singer-songwriter in Christian music. Josh's poignant song writing is coupled with musical excellence as each song urges me to better see God. This album is sure to connect with all listeners who like catchy songs filled with truth and yearning for God. Josh invites you into his life in such an authentic and relatable way, you’ll feel like you are a lifelong friend after you hear this album. Josh has always had a knack for hitting me where I am spiritually and expressing the prayerful yearnings of my heart. This album is no exception as I get welled up praying along with several of the songs and most of all, I am stirred with compassion to love people as Jesus loves us.
Track to download now: “Carry Me”- https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/carry-me/id604121079
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