STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 22594-12414 LABEL: Beach Street 602341011822 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2007-04-30 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Tipped as one of this year's faces to watch by Billboard magazine, Colorado-based worship leader John Waller has pulled off a solo release that more than lives up to this prediction. Formerly of the fondly remembered outfit According To John, 'The Blessing' is a powerhouse of declaration songs from start to finish featuring 10 energy filled tracks that are as challenging as they are invigorating. Kicking off with the stirring cry for the Holy Spirit "Calling For A Flood", it is evident early on that what we have here is something rather special. Given that Waller had virtually turned his back on songwriting, the standard of his material is astonishing and adds weight to his home church's conviction that his songs should reach a wider audience. Waller's passionate vocals are more than strong enough to compete with the wall of sound created by the sort of driving guitars and solid rhythm section you would expect from the likes of Snow Patrol and Coldplay - the pounding songs of acclamation "Love To Say Your Name" and "Ancient Words" being prime examples of Waller's vocal power. Elsewhere, Casting Crowns' lead singer Mark Hall makes an appearance in the title track - an inspiring call to believers to speak positively into the lives of those around them - as well as the delightful acoustic track "Sacred Pages". The highlight of the album is the impressive "Still Calls Me Son" which documents the homecoming of the prodigal in a relevant and contemporary way complete with a killer middle eight. In summary, this is an exemplary collection and potentially one of the most important releases of 2007.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out
John Waller knows what a blessing is. He has received a multitude... especially of late. This 35 year old father of three serves as worship pastor at Southlink Church near Colorado Springs and until recently thought his chances at a record deal were very low.
But John, who originally wrote the songs on his debut album for his church, caught the attention of Mark Hall, lead singer of Casting Crowns, with his powerful lyrical style. Mark Hall helped to secure a deal for John Waller and sings on his song The Blessing.
John’s depth of maturity and ministry focus shine through his lyrics and the music.