A Light Into The Darkness
Posted August 11, 2014
By CaitlinLassiter_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Since 2006, Willet brothers Jeremy, Justin and Jordan have been making music for two main reasons: God and people. Instead of working with a record label, the trio from Maryland has chosen to stay independent and use the support of New Missions Systems International. The guys have hearts for global missions and reaching people in every part of the world. They partner with mission send-outs and stay involved in child sponsorships and community transformation projects in places like Haiti and the UK.
Although the group has released a few EPs, Searchlight is their first full length album. The name seems perfectly fitted to their mission: to shine a Light to every corner of the world, reach the lost and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
The title track opens the record by proclaiming the power of God's word, declaring it is a searchlight to those lost in darkness. "Empty Grave" pulls off a bit of a southern sound, and combines the well-played instruments with the lyrical strength of Jesus setting us free. I can imagine Willet starting their live shows with "Show Us Your Unfailing Love," as it brings the energy up and captures the attention of listeners right away. Beginning with a beautiful piano melody, "Blessings Flow From Grace" proves to be a strong worship track and speaks of the daily new mercies of God.
At first listen, "Lowest Moment" stood out to me. The song carries the theme of praise to God for being constant even when we're at our lowest. Lyrics like "in my lowest moment / highest praise due Your name" and the powerful vocal overlay towards the end make this cut the most enjoyable one found here by far. "I Won't Withhold Anything" encourages us to give all we are to God, and closer "Did You Mean What You Said?" seems to be a letter to a friend about the faith they once shared.
As far as debut records go, Searchlight comes through as a strong effort. There were a few weak points, but considering the brothers did it all themselves and it was their first experience cutting an entire album, flaws can be mostly overlooked. For a band who leads a lot of youth camps and retreats, the album seems to overall be a great set of worship songs. With some work, Willet could soon be a breakout band in Christian music.
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