Release Date: September 8th 2017
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- I Surrender
Releasing their debut album Come To The River in 2012, and featuring the smash hit “When Mercy Found Me”, and subsequent singles “All I Need” and “Come To The River”; Rhett Walker Band followed this release with their first Grammy nomination and first of several Grand El Opry appearance- Come To The River earned a special place in my heart as the album that was one of the first ‘country’ albums I had listened to from start to finish. In 2014, the band unveiled Here’s To The Ones; with 15 songs of country, southern gospel and CCM goodness. With “Broken Man” and the title track being the two singles, Rhett Walker Band continued to stretch my musical preferences in so many ways. With the band’s sophomore album showcasing some of the most vulnerable writing I had heard in 2014, it was quite a surprise for me to hear that in early 2016, after more than a year of radio silence, the band broke up, and released a statement via Facebook. I’m not sure if that statement can still be accessed or read, but the fact of the matter is that perhaps Here’s To The Ones wasn’t as popular as the band would have liked, or maybe writing for a 3rd album became gruelling and a chore. Nevertheless, the band called it quits, and I never expected them to release anything new. In my mind, that chapter was done.
So I guess you can called me surprised and pleasantly happy, when news surfaced a couple of weeks ago of a brand new single coming. “I Surrender” released to radio and all digital outlets last week, and the result is a vulnerable, honest, emotional and personal guitar led mid-tempo ballad, probably born out of the band’s break-up. Though I’m not sure if the band is getting back together again, or if it’s just Rhett on his own with his band moniker (there’s only a picture of him on the single cover!), but I guess it hardly matters when you listen to the song and the profound, relatable and relevant lyrics. Whether it’s Rhett Walker Band or Rhett Walker makes no difference to me, and shouldn’t to everyone, especially when we understand that this song is special, and probably would have been recorded and sung by someone else if Rhett didn’t want to step back into music again. Driven by empathic keys and a stirring electric guitar undertone, we are met with a prayer of reflection and desperation, as Rhett humbly and fervently reiterates to God that ‘…I surrender, everything I am, I surrender, my heart into Your hands, my hope, my Lord, my life is Yours, I surrender…’, and a melody that we all need to sing and mean, at some point in our lives once we live with complete control given to the Almighty, the One who holds us in the palm of His hands.
“…Every avenue of our lives is not our own, and when we realize that and surrender it, we can actually find peace. My prayer changed from fix it, fix it, fix it, to I surrender it – my life, my family, my music…” Boy have I missed Rhett Walker Band and their music. Releasing this vibrant and emotional single that may or may not result in a 3rd album (maybe the band are still ‘broken up’ but ‘reunited’ for this song?), “I Surrender” is definitely a must listen, regardless if you love country or not. You’ll definitely be blessed and inspired! With similar musical and lyrical themes to Third Day, needtobreathe, Red Roots, Jason Crabb and Building 429; Rhett and his friends have continued to turn my musical preferences on their head! This is one of the most memorable and enjoyable country/CCM songs since Third Day’s “Revival”. Maybe I should buy more country albums in the future, thanks to the Rhett Walker Band…
3 songs to listen to: I Surrender x 3, or until we realise that we all need God, and all need to surrender fully to Him in order to live a fully fulfilled and satisfied life
RIYL: Zach Williams, Third Day, Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Selah, Big Daddy Weave