Sony Music Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd
Release Date: July 17th 2020
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Delta Goodrem has been synonymous with Australian culture for quite some time. Her impact and influence on Australian music is huge, and as I’ve been listening to her music throughout the years (more so on a regular basis ever since her 2016 album Wings of the World), I’ve been noticing this one thing- that God doesn’t really care what type of music He uses for people to understand more about themselves and more about Him in the process- if He chooses to convey His love for creation through a Skillet song, a Chris Tomlin song or even a Delta Goodrem song, then who are we, mere humans, to question anything that He does? Delta’s music has been encouraging, impactful, and dare I say, God-breathed at times- her songs like ‘Born to Try’, ‘Believe Again’, ‘In this Life’, ‘Enough’, ‘Sitting on Top of the World’, ‘Mistaken Identity’, ‘Together We are One’, and more recently, songs like ‘Let it Rain’ and ‘Keep Climbing’; are all testaments of the inspirational influence that Delta has in her music, even possibly without knowing it herself. As I’ve continued to embark along the road of understanding that ‘mainstream’ music isn’t as ‘bad’ or ‘evil’ as I was even led to believe, I find myself being more open to whatever the Lord has in store for me- be it a worship song, a hard rock song, or even a song from an Aussie artist, that can deliver similar punches and remind us all of our desperate need for something bigger than ourselves to sustain us in this life that we lead.
Enter in Delta Goodrem, who I can boldly say I am a fan of. Her new album comes out TBA 2020, but she’s already scheduling a Bright Over Troubled Dreams tour in April 2021, so can I assume that that will be the album title? Regardless, Delta just dropped a digital single recently, titled ‘Paralyzed’- even performed it on The Voice Grand Finale last week Sunday. As I have said time and time again this last year, I’ve come to realise, that if we limit the music in which we believe God can speak to us through, then we really don’t know God and what He really can do…I know, controversial to some, but it’s the truth. And I’m understanding more and more each day, that the God who raised Jesus from the grave, is the same God who can speak through a music genre, or a music style, that may be different from what we as Christians are used to. And maybe, just maybe, that’s ok.
‘Paralyzed’ the song debuted last week, and as I myself have been immersed in what the song is saying, I’m realising that such a song as this is very poignant, heartfelt and needed in society right now. At times during our quarantine moments this year, we can feel like we’re stagnant in our lives, like we’re in fact paralyzed and just looking at the situation wondering what we do right now, when everywhere around the world is hurting and going through one of the worst pandemics in human history. We are reminded that we are not alone in all of this- that restrictions in one country are very much the same in another- everyone is on varying degrees of how far this virus has gripped countries, but nevertheless, we are all on the curve, in some way or another. COVID-19 has changed how we perceive reality right now, and such a song as ‘Paralyzed’ conveys these sentiments and our feelings quite well- especially the emotive lyric ‘all of my plans have been silenced overnight’. Because that is exactly what happened- overnight in March, businesses ceased to operate, in July, Victoria was shut off from the rest of Australia because of the climbing COVID-19 infection numbers. And so what do we do right now? Where to from here? It’s like we’ve been presented with so much information and we don’t know which way to turn. And maybe that’s what we need to do for a little bit. Be paralyzed. Sit in the dust and the mirkiness. The uncertainty for a bit. For if we try to rush the process and get to the other side, maybe even quicker than what we should, then maybe we haven’t learnt all the things we should when we’re under quarantine.
As funny, even maybe even heretical, as this could sound, maybe God wants us to sit in the stillness and even uncertainty a little longer, for Him to speak more without all the noise, distractions, and the busyness of life. As much as I hate COVID-19, God has used such a pandemic as this to realign all of our own priorities- to reshift and focus onto what we know is important, rather than just doing the day-to-day transient things. For ‘Paralyzed’ is such a song that depicts our own feelings at this moment, but also gives us a thought- that maybe being paralyzed at this point in time isn’t as bad as we initially thought. We think about what we ought to be thankful for, we don’t rush things as maybe we have done before. We take our time to reflect and take stock of our lives, and understand that it is in the quiet that God speaks the loudest. I mean, God is always speaking, it’s just that the heavy clouds of expectation and external things calling out to you can become so great. Nevertheless, ‘Paralyzed’ by Delta Goodrem has become an anthem for a lot of people during this moment of just collective worry and a state of uncertainty. And maybe we don’t get all the answers in a timely way that we want. Maybe we do. Maybe we find a vaccine, or maybe we just live with COVID-19 for a long, long time. Regardless of what happens, this I know is true- during the inbetween, between the now and the not yet, between what we once were, and what we hope can happen, it is in this moment of life that we can try to reconnect with people, and strengthen the relationships of our lives that maybe we have neglected before.
Ask a neighbour how they are during such a time as this. Serve the community, and really ask someone ‘how are you’. It is in these vulnerable moments, where honesty and transparency are valued, that we can really see who stands by us and who walks away. ‘Paralyzed’ is a moment of realisation that this thing we’re experiencing won’t last forever. But until such a time where life goes back to ‘normal’, let us use these moments to share songs to people that maybe need it the most. Who knows, maybe a song like ‘Paralyzed’, can impact a life far greater than we know. Here’s hoping and praying that God uses such a song as this, to remind us all of the fragility of life, and the importance of family, relationships and a deep sense of self and identity above everything else. Well done Delta for such a powerful song, can’t wait for the next studio album, whenever it releases.
RIYL: Vanessa Amorosi, Tina Arena, Samantha Jade, Guy Sebastian, Jessica Mauboy