Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
Jared is the worship leader who has risen to prominence with the Desperation Band. His fellowship, Colorado's New Life Church, has had a difficult couple of years with a public scandal to deal with as well as a gunman killing two people before committing suicide, and this must have had some impact upon the nature of Jared's writing. Jared says, "The typical demonstration of our devotion to God is to throw a party. As a church, we just haven't felt like doing that, haven't felt like delivering some huge, 'Jesus-makes-you-a-winner' message. There is no more positive message than the Gospel, of course, but we had to dig deeper and to ask, 'What do I do here in the not-knowing part?'" Jared's lyrics are honest, down-to-earth and sometimes blunt. Phrases such as "Annihilate my body to elevate my soul" and "Sanctify me, clean out my closet" set the tone - they are heartfelt cries to God and a real feeling of submission to God comes over to the listener. One line that jumped out at me was "Slayed the darkest dragons like immortal Frodo Baggins"! The music is characterised by uplifting choruses and catchy guitar riffs as on "Call To Me", a prayer for God to call to us when we're at breaking point, as well as more meditative moments such as the moving "Pleasing To You", a sobering song of commitment to holiness and service, and "Beauty Of The Lord". Jared's musical style has been described as a cross between Ben Folds and Paul Baloche. None of Anderson's songs are in any songbooks I or my church have, and while I can learn to play these by ear if we want to use them in a service, maybe record companies like Integrity could think about including PDF copies of the sheet music on CDs like this where they are meant to be a worship resource as much as music to be listened to.
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