LABEL: CENTRICITY MUSIC
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 13, 2011
RATING: 3 OUT OF 5
One thing I have always admired about Jason Gray is his willingness to “leave it all on the table.” Every one of Gray’s albums is deeply personal, seeming to bear his heart and soul. A Way to See in the Dark is no exception to this pattern. Every song on this album acts as a different “peep-hole” into Gray’s very being, revealing glimpses of his struggles, fears, victories, and praises.
The first song that really stood out on this album was, “No Thief like Fear.” In this track, Gray speaks of the ways fear steals from the believer. He reveals how deceptive and destructive fear can be with lyrics such as “It’s closer than a brother/ more jealous than a lover/ it holds you while it swallows you alive.” This song closes with a prayer for God to free him [the believer] from the chains of fear. Gray sings this prayer in first-person, but listeners will find it easy to sing along with Gray as if the prayer was written personally by them.
Another song that I really enjoyed on this album also speaks on the topic of fear, “Fear Is Easy, Love Is Hard.” This song takes a step beyond the scope of the damage caused by fear, highlighting the believer’s struggle to open their hearts to love despite an overwhelming fear of exposing themselves to the vulnerability of love.
My favorite song on this album is easily “I Will Find a Way.” I will not reveal too many details on the content of this song because it has a bit of a surprise-ending (at least it did for me); I will just say that this song is brilliantly written. This track really exhibits the songwriting talent that Jason Gray possesses.
Unfortunately, there are a few songs on this album with which I just have not been able to connect. Among these are “Good to be Alive” which feels somewhat out of place musically with the rest of the album and “The Sound of Our Breathing.” In the past, there have been some of Jason Gray’s songs that I was not incredibly fond of that grew on me over time, but for now, these two tracks fall short of an otherwise solid project.
Despite having a few songs that do not appeal to me as a fan, I still really enjoyed this album. Jason Gray is consistent with his incredible ability to pen songs that are introspective and expressive. Gray really has a knack for conveying deep emotions over catchy melodies. Being a fan of Gray’s previous work, I had high hopes for A Way to See in the Dark, and I am glad to report that Jason Gray does not disappoint. Though I cannot say that I feel this is his best album to date, I can confidently state that this album is definitely worth checking out, especially for fans of Gray’s earlier work.
Review title provided courtesy of Centricity Music