Jon Foreman - The Wonderlands: Dawn

Published Sunday 15th November 2015
Jon Foreman - The Wonderlands: Dawn
Jon Foreman - The Wonderlands: Dawn

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: lowercase people

Reviewed by Helen Whitall

The last of the four 'Wonderlands' EPs from the Switchfoot frontman, 'Dawn' brings us full circle in the cycle of day and night, tying up all the loose ends and forging links not only to the other 'Wonderlands' EPs but also to Foreman's previous solo 'Seasons' project. It's musically lovely, full of romance, and Biblical wisdom and hope. The lights have come back on, it's a new day, and life is exciting. We begin at 5am with "Inheritance" (produced by Ryan O'Neal from Sleeping At Last), Foreman's sweet and very personal story of his relationship with his wife. The chorus lyric, "I want to be rich in memories not money" is a great encouragement to focus on the things that really matter in our lives together. "Run Free" and "Inseparable" (produced by Josh Silverberg and Tyler Chester respectively) are both heavily based on Scripture, the former a song of hope taken from Isaiah 61, the latter a creative take on Romans 8. Following the uplifting love song "When We Collide" (producer Chad Howat), "Mercy's War" (produced by Jeremy Larson and featuring the Calvin College Gospel Choir) is an overwhelmingly powerful tale of grace. With humility and humour and featuring soul-rendingly beautiful vocals, Foreman contrasts our rebellion against God with God's answering counter moves of love so generous our hatred is undone. 'The Wonderlands' is brought to a perfect finish with "Before Our Time", produced by Tyler Strickland, featuring a delightfully exuberant fiddle solo and backing vocals from Sara Watkins, and with a rousing chorus that makes you want to sing along. It's a song of defiant joy in the face of the incessant march of time in our short lives, and the most fitting end to the project. I have absolutely no hesitation about recommending this vibrant gem; if you have to pick just one of the 'Wonderlands' EPs, make it this one.

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