By Matthew Robbins
GENRE: POP ROCK
LABEL: CENTRICITY RECORDS
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
RATING: 4 OUT OF 5
“God’s redemption plan is already in effect. It’s not for ‘someday when,’ it’s for right now, in this moment. Even when the worst in happening, the seeds of its undoing are already sown.”
With a title inspired by a Samwise Gamgee quote in “The Lord of the Rings,” Everything Sad Is Coming Untrue is the sophomore studio album for singer/songwriter Jason Gray. As the title and above quote suggest, the album explores themes of redemption as Gray contemplates practical applications of gospel truth layered over slick pop/rock gems. Unlike most pop songs, however, Gray has plenty of depth to his lyrics, refusing to settle for clichés or easy truths. The result is an emotional, provocative album that is musically satisfying at the same time.
The collection kicks off with the two catchiest songs. First, “More Like Falling In Love” explores the difference between religion and relationship, information about a savior versus really loving him. This is followed by the first title track (yes, there are two), which features slick production along with lyrics about the signs of and hope for redemption.
Other issues delved into include our need for accountability and honesty in relationships (“Holding the Key,” “How I Ended Up Here”) and the need for our worship of God to extend into all of life and not be limited to singing (“Fade With Our Voices”). “For The First Time” brings a big, anthem-like chorus as Gray sings of re-committing to Christ and asking for renewal, while “Hold Me Back” asks God to restrain us however possible to keep us from sin.
One of my favorite songs, however, was “The Golden Boy and The Prodigal.” Here, Gray sings of the “two sides to every person,” the one we show people and the one we hide. A stripped down acoustic melody accompanies poetic lines such as:
One of them’s the golden boy, the man I’d like to be
I show him off in the parades for all the world to see
The other is much weaker, and he stumbles all the time
The source of my embarrassment, he’s the one I try to hide
Very rarely will you find such honesty that captures this particular aspect of the Christian experience so well. Personally, I connected with this song in a profound way and was encouraged to know I’m not alone.
The album closes with the second part of the title track, a much more stripped down song than part one. Lyrics deal with specific applications of the gospel and redemption (confession to a spouse or friend, death, relationships, sexual sin, to name a few). The hope is extremely palpable here as Gray sings, “Could it be that everything sad is coming untrue? I believe that everything sad is coming untrue in the hands of the One who makes all things new.” This is a beautiful song and perfect culmination to a beautifully-profound album.
Some will enjoy it for the sweet melodies, catchy tunes, and slick production, but I sincerely hope people take the time to listen to what Jason is saying. Jason gets the gospel and communicates it well. His honesty and hope are sorely needed by many today.