Hope In Every Lyric
Posted June 15, 2016
By CaitlinLassiter_NRT, Staff Reviewer
If you were to look at the work of all songwriters in Christian music, Jason Gray's would definitely stand out. His lyrics have always been deep and profound, striking listeners with a rare honesty that few writers have accomplished. Shown best in his last album Love Will Have The Final Word, Jason is a master at writing songs about grief, intertwining hope and redemption in every lyric. That quality has made him one of the most respected songwriters in the business and has also made his songs a go-to for anyone who finds themselves needing musical comfort in a hard season.
Jason's newest project Where The Light Gets In follows suit with incredibly well-written lines of faith in the midst of difficulty. Sparked from personal situations in Jason's own life that produced hard-earned priceless lessons, these songs were birthed from vulnerable places in the writer's heart.
Peppy opener "Learning" was a step outside of Jason's comfort zone, proving that he really can tackle any type of song with his songwriting skills. More pop-driven than most of Jason's previous work, the song serves as an empowerment anthem (which Jason says usually annoy him given their self-reliance), but with a twist to focus more on Christ's power in and through us.
Current radio single "Sparrows" is striking a chord with fans, sending a message of hope and using Biblical truths to remind listeners that they are constantly cared for. Hopeful "I Will Rise Again" displays Jason's versatile voice as he sings out encouraging lyrics of coming through a hard time and being stronger and better in the end, much like redemptive "Stolen" tells the story of how God often has to break us to bring us to the place He wants us.
Another peppier addition, "Resurrection" is a bubbly track that shows Gray's signature grace-centered songwriting: "I believe in resurrection / I believe in second chances / Love's just beginning to rewrite the ending." One of several highlights on the album, "More Yours" showcases a deep message of surrender underneath an upbeat chorus that will easily get stuck in your head. Standout ballad "Death Without A Funeral" is sonically and even lyrically reminiscent of "Not Right Now" on his last album. A song that equates grieving the silent death of things inside the heart to the visible death of a person, this is Jason's profound, vulnerable and emotionally moving songwriting at its very best.
"The Wound Is Where The Light Gets In" follows in the same fashion, a deep ballad about redemption through loss, pain and grieving-- perhaps the topics Jason writes most passionately about. "Where We Go From Here," another remarkable track, once again puts Jason's creative lyrics on the forefront: "You love to use the broken things to put together broken things, just like it was always in Your plan / as broken as I say I am, You see me like broken crayons / they still color beauty in Your hands." "Learning To Be Found" also proves to be a strong moment, giving a slight nod to the timeless hymn "Amazing Grace" and speaking on the importance of learning that we don't have to do life alone.
"Celebrate" and previously released single "Glow In The Dark" find the album coming to a close with a much more pop-driven sound than we often hear from Jason before slowing down a bit with "Thank You For Everything." The song feels fitting to end with as it serves as gratitude for each moment of life: "when I look at the world around me and breathe in the breath You gave / every beat of my heart is singing 'thank You for everything' / if You lead me to still waters / if I'm caught in the hurricane / wherever You lead, I'm singing 'thank You for everything.'"
The Bottom Line: Where The Light Gets In further solidifies Jason Gray's place in my opinion as the most gifted songwriter in the industry. His profound, deep, catchy and meaningful lyrics are often comfort to hurting hearts, proving why music is the powerful force we've come to appreciate it as. With truly not a single bad song in the mix, Jason has crafted yet another memorable album. His talent continues to grow as he puts the most vulnerable pieces of his heart into his music. That vulnerability is indeed paying off as I'm sure this will be an album fans quickly come to love and find hope through.
Song To Download Now:
"The Wound Is Where The Light Gets In" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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