Release Date: November 10th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- After All These Years
- The Reckoning
- After The Last Tear Falls (2014)
- All Things New
- Don’t You Want To Thanks Someone
- Lay Me Down
- Faith To Be Strong (2014)
- You’ll Find Your Way
- Dancing In the Minefields
- The Good Confession
- Isn’t It Love (2014)
- The Far Country
- The Silence Of God (2014)
- Holy Is The Lord (2014)
- Romans 11 (Doxology)
- Nothing To Say (2014)
- No More Faith (2014)
- To All The Poets
- High Noon (Live, 2014)
- Everybody’s Got A Song
‘…after finishing the last Wingfeather book I knew it was time to put out a new record, but I was creatively spent. It seemed like a good time to put out a collection, maybe write a few new songs and re-record a couple of old ones with some good friends. But it quickly blossomed into a pretty massive undertaking—we ended up recording twelve songs, which is even more than a typical record. Getting into the studio with those guys and reliving all the songs reminded me why I got into music in the first place. It was a huge blessing…’ Andrew Peterson needs no introduction. Even though I personally have only listened to Light for the Lost Boy fully from start to finish (which reminds me, I need to listen to Andrew’s discography soon), I have since appreciated Andrew’s lyrical and musical style, as I am reminded of the quality, emotion and heart the still exists in Christian music.
Releasing After All These Years as a 20 song best-of collection, Andrew has chosen favourites from all his past albums, re-recording some to bring forth unique and new re-arrangements as fans of Andrew rediscover the fan favourites in a different and exciting way. While I myself have yet to be acquainted with all of Andrew’s songs, the songs I do know which are included on this project, in and of themselves, have inspired me to listen to the album. With a career spanning more than 10 years, Andrew’s skill as both a musician and a children’s fantasy book author is certainly going to influence and change lives both now and into the future. From “Lay Me Down” and “Dancing in the Minefields” to “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone” and his most recent single “You’ll Find Your Way”, Andrew’s skill is unparalleled within the music industry, with his music a must to listen to and treasure if you are a fan of similar artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Josh Wilson, Jason Gray or Nichole Nordeman.
It was Life For the Lost Boy that released in 2012 that led me to listen to Andrew Peterson’s music for the first time. Sad I know, that I hadn’t listened to possibly one of Christian music’s most emotive, honest, heartfelt and enjoyable songwriters in recent CCM history; but it was in September 2012 that I discovered one of the album gems of 2012. Fast forward two years, and Andrew has released a new album, this time a best-of collection. With myself being not an avid listener to Andrew and his music until recently, I jumped at the chance of listening to and reviewing this 20 song collection. What I experienced was and is arguably a snapshot of a music career of one of Christian music’s most prolific and lyrically poignant artists of modern Christian music and music history.
While most of these songs have been foreign to me prior to me listening to the album, it’s the technique of poetry colliding with music that Andrew has employed very well. “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone”, the longest song on Light For the Lost Boy, speaks about realising that everything is a gift from God, and acknowledging that ‘…in spite of all that’s wrong here, there’s still so much that goes so right and beauty abounds…’, and is a great standout on this 20 song collection, while “Lay Me Down” brings an acoustical nature to the album as this song from 2004 echoes and resembles the theme of laying down- even literally, for another. A song that alludes to the greatest sacrifice of all and how when Christ laid Himself down, we lived, and still do, as a result; Andrew also encourages us in the coming of age “You’ll Find Your Way”, the all-welcoming “All Things New” that reminds us to come as we are and allow the Saviour to make new the things in our lives that need rearranging and renewal; and the love-song “Dancing in the Minefields”, a tribute to boyfriends and girlfriends around the world, and maybe even alluding to his own marriage as well.
To be honest, trying to cover, discuss and dissect 20 tracks and talk about great and not so great points about each of the tracks can be a difficult thing, and if I were here discussing each track, I’d be still discussing 2000 or even 2500 words from now. But I will say this- Andrew’s re-recordings of older familiar songs have given the original tracks a new lease of life, and I’m sure for many, unlike myself, who were fans of Andrew’s music previously, will thoroughly enjoy Andrew’s new arrangements. Songs like “After The Last Tear Falls”, “Faith To Be Strong”, “Isn’t It Love”, “The Silence Of God”, “Holy Is The Lord”, “Nothing to Say” and “No More Faith” have all been reworked to bring forth versions that not only enhance the album as a whole, but also remind us all that certain songs are timely and timeless, even if they have been reworked to bring in listeners, like myself, who may not have heard of Andrew and his music as much as the rest of his fans.
Acoustics, light melodies and an enjoyable moments highlight the new tracks on the album, with “After All These Years” bringing us a theme of how time and the passing of it reminds us all of how some things don’t change and how other things highlight our own need for renewal, reconciliation and redirection. “Everybody’s Got a Song”, a country infused melody with a slightly eerie electric guitar sliding strum, brings the notion of everyone having a story to tell and a song to sing and is a great, welcomed melody to end the album with, while “To All the Poets” ends the physical copy version of the album paying homage to writers like himself, who have inspired him along his own journey of writing (for both songs and books). The inspiring words of thanks and how he is grateful to his mentors for ‘…taking their sorrow and using it to light the world so I could know that I’m not alone…’ is enough alone to not only listen to this melody but continue to explore Andrew’s discography both now and into the future.
Encapsulating everything that I could and can say about Andrew Peterson and his music into a review wouldn’t do Andrew or his music justice- it’s too good. One of the most underrated music artists in history since Rich Mullins during the 1990s, Andrew’s unique ability to speak powerful truths and present them in a way that is reflective but hard-hitting is a gift. One that is truly highlighted throughout his career, and in After All These Years, we have a glimpse into the musical life of one of today’s most inspiring lyricists I’ve listened to in my own life so far. A fan of artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Nichole Nordeman or Jason Gray will love Andrew and his music. Well done Andrew for such an inspiring and poignant album!
5 songs to listen to: After All These Years, To the Poets, Don’t You Want to Thank Someone, Lay Me Down, You’ll Find Your Way
RIYL: Jason Gray, Steven Curtis Chapman, Lindsay McCaul, Bebo Norman, Nichole Nordeman