Jason is a rare artist who can combines musical talent with pragmatism - he co-writes with a team of lyricists who supply solid truths, competently pushing the theological envelope while retaining a biblical message. "With Every Act Of Love" epitomises this, piano and light percussion supporting the message ("God put a million, million doors in the world/For his love to walk through/One of those doors is you"). The team are lyrically innovative too - "With my first kiss, I tried to make her mine but I missed" in a walk through the ups and down of life on "The Best Days", Gray's acoustic guitar underscoring the melody line. "Even This Will Be Made Beautiful" deploys synth, keys and bass to proclaim Ecclesiastes 3:11 - "He has made everything beautiful in its time - even this will be made beautiful." There is a gritty realism on "Not Right Now" and a message of wisdom too - when your house is burning down, trite answers are not what is needed. Joy features on "Laugh Out Loud" featuring whistling and laughter while "Love Will Have The Final Word" is another standout track with tight drums and percussion punching out Gray's message. This is one of those rare albums where every track is musically and lyrically excellent.
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The title of Jason Gray's newest release, Love Will Have The Final Word, speaks of decisiveness and closure. It's a statement of confidence and determination. And it's true: we live in the assurance that through all our ups and downs the ultimate victory has been won for us and Love has spoken.
It's those ups and downs, though, that are the tricky part, and this soul-stirring collection of music speaks directly and powerfully to our present reality. This is an album that bravely avoids trite and simple platitudes thrown at our very real and complex circumstances. It's an album that recognises our loneliest of lows and our most hopeful highs. It's an album that knows when to show empathy, when to give advice and when to just come alongside and grieve.