|Josh Wilson [See You] | Posted February 01, 2011
Josh Wilson returns with his highly anticipated new studio album, See You. Working with acclaimed producer Matt Bronlewee, See You features songs that are sure to inspire and challenge fellow believers. Much like Josh’s previous hit singles “Savior, Please” and “Before The Morning,” See You delivers songs like “I Refuse” and “Fall Apart” that are refreshingly honest and emotional while also lyrically and spiritually profound. Playing most of the instruments on the album himself, Josh also found ways to highlight what so many fans have come to love about him, his God-given talent as a one of a kind musician. Josh had me at “3 Minute Song.” It is a clever song about the challenge as a Christian songwriter to bring Gospel truth into song lyrics, which he accurately describes as Trying To Fit The Ocean In A Cup. His follow-up album Life Is A Snapshot expanded on that concept with hit song “Before The Morning” and for me Josh hits on all cylinders with See You, which will certainly be one of my top albums of 2011.
The album opens with “Sing It,” a gorgeous acoustic guitar ballad where Josh lays out the theme of this excellent album, “all the words in all the world could never say enough…nothing I could ever write comes close to Your glory…You’ve placed this song inside my heart and all I know to do for You is sing it.” Josh’s excellent musicianship and poignant lyrics continues with “Behind The Beauty,” another standout hit song in my opinion with more words that connect with me personally, “sometimes the smallest things can make our hearts cry out the loudest.” Lead single "I Refuse" challenges me to share my faith by helping those in need and not keep my faith to myself. According to Josh, “The purpose of "I Refuse" is to show people how simple it can be to 'refuse to do nothing,' just by being aware of what is going on in the world around them." Josh writes about themes that cause me to hang on every word he sings, especially “Fall Apart,” a surefire hit song, which is a prayerful song that wrecks me with these lyrics that reflect the cry of my heart as well: “God I want to know You more, maybe this is how it starts, I find You when I fall apart.” “Know By Now” is an upbeat anthem that flows into title track “See You” which absolutely stops me in my tracks. The song is so honest and introspective, Josh is truly gifted as he addresses faith in the midst of tragedy including the lyrics “it is well with my soul” which naturally flows amazingly to Josh’s stunning instrumental acoustic guitar performance of the famous hymn “It Is Well.” “Shine On Us” picks up the tempo and is another prayerful song: “Oh Jesus shine on us.”
One of my personal favorite songs is “Always Only You” which Josh sings to his wife, “we got no money but our love is strong…I’m gonna love you always, even on the not so sunny days, through the good and the bad and I meant when I said, I still do, because it’s always only you.” I’ve been married for 16 years and this song speaks to all married couples. “Forest Fire” reminds listeners of the power of words and the need to “tame our tongues” from James 3, “our tongues are like matches, our ears are like trees, our words are like sparks on dry summer leaves, it doesn’t take much for the flames to rise and turn a soul into a forest fire.” I don’t know if I’ve ever listened to an album this challenging and musically interesting. Closing song “They Just Believe” ties it all together with this amazing chorus: “I believe, please help my unbelief, Jesus give me grace to trust the unseen, Your ways are not my own…but You say blessed are the ones that never see, they just believe.” Wow, Josh manages to “fit the ocean in a cup” with that perfect reflection of Gospel truth from the words of Jesus.
Having previously enjoyed Josh Wilson's hit songs "Savior, Please," "3 Minute Song" and "Before The Morning," I have eagerly anticipated See You. This album firmly establishes Josh as the premier folk style singer-songwriter in Christian music. Josh's poignant song writing is coupled with musical excellence as each song urges me to better see God. This album is sure to connect with all listeners who like catchy songs filled with truth and yearning for God. Every song is catchy and you’ll want to listen to every song in order as Josh ties all the songs together from opening notes of “Sing It” through the end of closing song “They Just Believe.” Josh writes catchy folk-pop style melodies and story-songs and if you like Bebo Norman, Matthew West and Jason Gray, then you should really enjoy Josh Wilson. I can’t get enough of this album, sure to be one of my top albums of 2011. Josh invites you into his life in such an authentic and relatable way, you’ll feel like you are a lifelong friend after you hear this album.
Rating: 9.9 out of 10 (99%, A+)
Review written by: Kevin Davis | Review can also be found here.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from ChristianMusicReview.org. Click here to visit ChristianMusicReview.org today!
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|Josh Wilson: See You Review | Posted May 02, 2011
Josh Wilson's third studio project See You, released February 8th, 2011, is already receiving critical acclaim for several reasons. The main, and most noticeable about Josh Wilson's latest project is the combination of unique instruments on this project (Josh himself playing over 20 of them himself!). Also, Josh's unique blend of pop, contemporary, bluegrass, country, and several other styles into one, makes See You an album full of twists and turns, and certainly a very enjoyable project.
The beautiful "Sing It" begins See You with an enjoyable worship track composed mainly of guitar-picking, as it speaks of singing to God what is in our hearts, even though that song itself is already His. As occured throughout the album, the track features unique music appearances, from the gorgeous piano in the second verse, to a somewhat haunting interlude halfway through the track. "Behind the Beauty," a very catchy pop track, speaks of the fact that the divine beauty in our lives should be enough for us to believe in God: "Look around/look around/tell me can you see/ All the wonder in the world is reason to believe/ That there is something more/ A love we can’t ignore/ Yeah, there is so much more/ A God we can’t ignore/ Behind the beauty."
The radio single, "I Refuse" follows, featuring Josh's playing of the hammer dulcimer throughout the track. "I Refuse" was birthed out of the 2010 Nashville flooding, when Josh admitted his desire to pray for the victims, but do nothing about it. In that moment, he realized that God was calling him to give to help support the rebuilding efforts, and "I Refuse" was born. Josh's inspirational upbeat track speaking of making a difference instead of sitting around waiting for others is certainly a well-done radio hit.
"Falls Apart"'s poetic lyrics were enjoyable, as this contemporary track speaks of how we seem to find Christ when going through a painful situation. Birthed out of a friend's divorce, Josh reminds the listener that pain isn't always a bad thing, because it brings us closer to God and allows us to know Him more through it. "Know By Now" is probably the most catchy track on See You, an upbeat, piano pop track reminding us that God always provides for us in time of need, and that we should always remember His faithfulness toward us.
The title track, "See You," leans on the slower side of things, highlighted by the complex chording and beautiful piano intervals, as "See You" speaks of having faith in God, even when it seems as if everything is falling apart. It goes even farther to remind us that God is always there, and that He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. I didn't exactly enjoy the doubtful portion of this song, but I loved the building up of the track and the Biblical lyrics of knowing God is always there through whatever we go through. Immediately following is an "It Is Well" instrumental characterized by the beautiful guitar-picking and choir act that appeared halfway through this gorgeous instrumental. Josh's instrumental version of "It Is Well," full of guitar harmonizing and extra bass was very beautiful and almost tear-jerking, because of the power of it. Also, the track provided for an excellent "part two" to "See You," knowing that whatever we go through, God sees us through, even when we feel like He is far away from us at that moment.
"Shine On Us" has a bit of a bluegrass tune, as it speaks of our need for peace and our desire for God to shine on us, as "Always Only You" retains the same sound in a sweet love song to Josh's wife Becca. Throughout "Always Only You," Becca can be heard singing harmonizing tidbits, which, combined with the guitar and kitchen instruments (literally ice boxes, spoons, ect.) makes this song and "Shine On Us" a very full set of tracks. I also enjoyed the whistling act that appeared in "Always Only You," which, in my opinion, always makes for an enjoyable add-on.
"Forest Fire" contains an enjoyable swing style, as the first few seconds of the track are composed of lighting and putting out matches. The message behind "Forest Fire" is practically James 3 put to words -- that what we say is so powerful, and we need to be careful what we say, because we can easily start a forest fire in someone's life: "Our tongues are like matches/ Our ears are like trees/ Our words are like sparks/ On dry summer leaves/ It doesn’t take much/ For the flames to rise/ And turn a soul/ Into a forest fire."
Although I disagreed somewhat with the story behind "They Just Believe," this powerful slower piano-pop track is based on the story in the book of Matthew, in which the demon-possessed child's father cried out, "Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief." Josh speaks once again of having faith in God, even though we cannot see Him, and how it is hard sometimes to know that He is there. ("I believe/ Please help my unbelief/ Jesus, give me grace/ To trust what I can’t see/ Your ways are not my own/ Some things I’ll never know/ But You say, blessed are the ones who never see/ They just believe." Finally, See You is ended with a one-minute reprise of the opening track "Sing It," and ends the album with a satisfactory ending reminding us once again to sing out our praises to God, even though He already owns each song we sing.
Josh Wilson's See You CD was enjoyable for many reasons. Mainly, the variation of styles that appeared on the track was a highlight for me. Some songs are on the contemporary worship side of things, while others are more bluegrass or country. Also, with over 20 instruments that Josh Wilson played on his See You project, there is literally a new aspect to each and every song. The lyrics, also, are very deep, reminding the listener to keep their focus on God even though we can't always see Him working in our situation. Because of the above reasons, this reviewer rates Josh Wilson's See You project a 4/5.
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