Reviewed by Andy Cooper
Not many people are fantasy novelists and recording artists, singers and songwriters all in one career. Illinois' Peterson remarkably is. And here is a remarkable album. 10 new songs with more variety, textures and layers than the clothing collection of Anne Boleyn. A heartbeat type of rhythm opens the tome, followed by a laid back piano motif, then a relaxed comforting vocal. The song "Come Back Soon" tells a story, and the sounds from the instruments add imagination: a lightly distorted guitar solo, a gently plucked acoustic guitar, drums briefly thumped and backing vocals layered like a wedding cake. "The Cornerstone", pointing to Psalm 118, has a moody feel while "Rest Easy" is naturally more light hearted. "The Voice Of Jesus" is a simple piano plus vocal arrangement, while "The Ballad Of Jody Baxter" brings together a plethora of plucked string instruments. It's intriguing for the ear, while Andrew's vocal, sounding fuller and stronger than before, draws you in with character-filled delicacy and intimate emotion. Comparisons are difficult, but imagine the finer moments of David Gray, Elbow and The Choir (for those who remember the early '90s Christian rock experimentalists). The final song of the collection is "Don't You Want To Thank Someone", a heart-warming arrangement of voice, piano, guitars and drums. All playing simple riffs, but creating layers and textures that smother like a warm blanket on a cool evening. Here's a lyric to ponder: "Just behind the veil of wind, a million angels waiting in the wings/A swirling storm of cherubim making ready for the reckoning/Oh how long? Sing on." Poetry and aural art, masterfully mixed.
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|Light For The Lost Boy emerged, on the one hand, as a chronicle of what was lost at the fall of man, but it is a chronicle made personal, as seen through the eyes of one man now watching his own children begin to cross that threshold from innocence to heartbreak. The lyrical, haunting tones of the project provide an ideal complement for the honest depths of the subject matter.|
Light For The Lost Boy pulses with the hurt of the human condition; it's a grief permeated with light and hope and beauty and love. Andrew, perhaps better than any other songwriter today, recognizes the echoes of Eden and eternity that fill our daily lives for what they are. His journey as an artist, author and disciple is one that he's long attempted to make openly and in community, using his songs and stories as an invitation to others walking the same road. Light For The Lost Boy artfully and stirringly documents the last couple years of that journey, and in so doing, is likely to give thousands of new listeners a point of connection with his music.