Release Date: June 21st 2019
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Rescue Story
Everyone knows Zach Williams. Or at least they should, with his hit song ‘Chain Breaker’, being what I reckon, one of CCM’s most charted songs on radio in the last few years. Zach’s rise in popularity has been surreal, more like from a movie or TV show than anything else. With the release of Chain Breaker both as an EP in September 2016 and as a full length 10 track album in January 2017; this now-once-in-a-rock-band-now-reformed pastor and Provident Label Group signee has captured our hearts with his southern rock/gospel music atmosphere, in a similar vein to that of Crowder or Third Day. Even if we may not enjoy the southern gospel genre that much, we all have heard of the song “Chain Breaker”, along with his other radio hits like ‘Old Church Choir’ and ‘Fear is a Liar’. Zach’s move from being in a mainstream rock band, to pursuing a solo Christian music career after an encounter with God not too long ago, has resulted in music that is honest, hopeful, raw and emotive. His first full length album received plenty of acclaim- so much so that in 2017, he released a deluxe edition of the album, complete with a few new tracks. And then in 2018, Zach, still riding the Chain Breaker album wave, unveiled and EP titled Survivor: Live From Harding Prison, full of songs and stories that have been recorded, you guessed it, in Harding Prison. While the EP was a tad redundant- as it featured various hits of his over the years sung in a ‘live’ setting in the prison; the collection of 6 songs was enough to garner a Grammy nomination for best CCM album of the year, as the songs were earnest and honest, hopeful and encouraging, as he relates to and encourages prison inmates through the songs. Now here in 2019, we see Zach back at it again, this time with new music in the form of a brand-new radio single, ‘Rescue Story’.
Released within the last week, ‘Rescue Story’ is by no means anything groundbreaking, musically, and maybe to a certain point, lyrically. Songs were written before to do with having a story and being rescued from darkness. There’s a ton. ‘Rescue’ (Lauren Daigle), ‘Be My Rescue’ (Nichole Nordeman), ‘Rescue’ (Newsboys), ‘Rescuer’ (Rend Collective), ‘Rescue Me’ (Kerrie Roberts) and ‘The Rescue’ (Adam Cappa), are just a few songs that delve into the theme of being rescued, or rather, wanting to be rescued, from whatever is plaguing us. So in a nutshell, Zach isn’t really re-inventing the wheel, nor is he creating anything that has a tremendous ‘wow’ factor. Yet, a song exactly like ‘Rescue Story’ is rather what we need as a society- the raw, unfiltered, passionate, and at times, vulnerable singing that requires us to sit up and listen attentively, is how I reckon Zach sings most, if not all, of his songs of the past, and this new one is no different. ‘Rescue Story’ is basically the story of Zach, an autobiographical one. A song that shows us a man who was basically at the end of his rope all those years ago, and in one pivotal moment, Jesus came searching and took him out of the darkness, from despair to delight, from uncertainty to groundbreaking belief and faith.
A song like ‘Rescue Story’, when you hear the back story of Zach and what he has gone through to this point, and how the Lord has changed his life around, the power and effect of the song will become greater- and that’s what happened with this new one from Zach. ‘Rescue Story’ is such where I’m sure anyone who has heard of Zach Williams, his music and his story, can testify upon hearing this new melody to say that this song is God-breathed. Not that there’s only a select few that God breathes through, not at all. It’s just that I’m sure some songs are given a certain power over them, by God, to impact and affect- similar to the power in songs like ‘You Say’ (Lauren Daigle), ‘Is He Worthy?’ (Andrew Peterson), ‘Head Above Water’ (Avril Lavigne) and ‘Reckless Love’ (Cory Asbury). ‘Rescue Story’ is one of these songs. And so what are we waiting for? Stop whatever we’re doing right now, and listen to the song. Maybe, just maybe, the song could change your life or the lives of others around us. Well done Zach for such a life-altering and redeeming song. Looking forward to a new full-length album releasing in the future, whenever that may be!
RIYL: needtobreathe, Third Day, Skillet, Switchfoot