Release Date: January 24th 2020
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- The Father’s House
- The Father’s House (Acoustic)
- The Father’s House (Acoustic) (Video)
Cory Asbury is a name that has divided many in as many households in relation to his chart-topping song ‘Reckless Love’. No need to delve into the reasons why- this is where ‘google’ is your friend- you can google the song, the album, listen to the album, even read my review of the album that I wrote last year. Cory Asbury is as much as a celebrated artist as any other; but is also an artist that turns people off CCM altogether. Nevertheless, as polarising as an artist as he is, Cory’s been making music that impacts for a while now- inclusive of ‘Reckless Love’ and a lot of his other songs in his catalogue- songs like ‘Endless Alleluia’, ‘Water and Dust’ and ‘Only Takes a Moment’, to name a few. And now here we are in the early parts of 2020, around a couple of years after ‘Reckless Love’ and the album of the same name. This time, we are given ‘The Father’s House’, the song that’s already making waves this year. Quite possibly the first radio single from his new album coming TBA 2020, how does this song compare to his countless other songs of the past, ‘Reckless Love’ in particular? Can it be as big as ‘Reckless Love’ was, or is ‘Reckless Love’ still his most poignant single…for now? How do you all reckon ‘The Father’s House’ will stand amongst the sea of music come 2020 end?
‘…this song was born probably two and a half, maybe three years before it was entirely written. I was in the middle of a tour, and I was tired. You know, I just felt weary and broken. Jacked up, weak, and messed up. All the things that we can feel as humans. A lot of times, for me, music is therapy. It’s time I pour out my heart before the Lord. I sat down at the piano, and all of a sudden, this one phrase came out, “You never wanted perfect. You just wanted my heart.” And it was like, bam, a light went off in my heart. I realized at that moment that it wasn’t about me having it all together. Even in my weakness and brokenness, it was just about offering my heart in that space. So I sang that phrase, “You never wanted perfect. You just wanted my heart.” and I started weeping. I still got the voice memo on my phone just crying and saying that phrase over and over and over. It was therapy to my soul, and oddly enough, that became the second line of the second verse. That’s where this song was birthed. Out of this place of realization that Father God didn’t want me never to mess up again. He just wanted me to run to Him when I did. That’s it. That’s all He wanted. When you mess up, don’t hide and sin. Don’t hide in shame. Run to God and give Him back your heart…’ Taken from an article from genius.com about the song, Cory’s explanation of how ‘The Father’s House’ came to be, makes me appreciate the song all the more. Even though the song itself is about a concept and underlying message that has been reiterated to listeners time and time again, it is never enough to hear such truths about the Father’s House, now more than ever! And yet even though I found that such a song as Cory’s is at times a little too repetitive for its own good, we are nevertheless still reminded that Cory and his presence can make a song intriguing, even if we hear ‘The Father’s House’ only once to say that his follow-up single to ‘Reckless Love’ is good…but not great. And maybe that’s ok.
Maybe I’ve been rating ‘The Father’s House’ upon the yardstick and benchmark of ‘Reckless Love’, when it doesn’t have to be. The song is good in its own right. Sure there’s repetition, and sure there’s times that I think ‘gee, Cory’s follow-up song to ‘Reckless Love’ is this?’ but all in all, ‘The Father’s House’ as it stands is a good worship song. Just not a great worship song if you want to use ‘Reckless Love’ as a reference point as something to aspire and live up to. Nevertheless, Cory’s new song is certain to be a staple in Sunday morning church services as the months progress. And for me in my own curated Spotify playlists as the year progresses as well? Only time will tell. What I will say is this- that Cory’s ‘follow-up single’ after ‘Reckless Love’ is certain to be on everyone’s lips and in people’s heads as 2020 continues to roll on, especially those who love worship music, Bethel Music or both. Cory’s new song is a reminder that his music (forthcoming album) is coming very shortly, and this song is a welcomed teaser as to how the new album will sound like, lyrically and sonically. Well done Cory for such a life-building song, and something to tie us over until one of the most anticipated CCM albums of 2020. Till then, let us put either ‘The Father’s House’ or ‘Reckless Love’ on repeat…your choice!
RIYL: Pat Barrett, Chris Tomlin, Chris Quilala, Kim Walker-Smith