Prime Cuts: Love Without End, Amen, You Asked Him to Leave, Shoulders
One of the major criticisms of today's Christian music is that it creates a gauze between the songs' messages and the listener. Often many Christian songs are so aloof and trite that they do not connect with the struggles and insecurities of our daily lives. Pad answers, recycled platitudes, and unthoughtful aphorisms are some of the culpable culprits that have blurred the realism of these songs. Wilburn and Wilburn are wise enough to avoid these pitfalls when it comes to the duo's third album for Daywind Records, "Shoulders." One strategic ammunition utilized by Wilburn and Wilburn in relating to our lives with their music is the use of concrete examples grounded via our everyday narratives. Here truth gets incarnated in the bodily flesh of ordinary folks like you and me; and it's through these story-songs we get to appreciate our Savior and His love.
Produced by Ben Isaacs, Jonathan Wilburn, and Jordan Wilburn this CD features great songs from the pens of some great writers which include Jimmy Yeary, Bill and Gloria Gaither, Kenna West, Gerald Crabb, and Dennis Morgan. The first single off this record "You Asked Him to Leave" hits the nail right at bull's eye when it comes to the societal ills of today. Giving copious narrative examples of how we have legislated God out of our social circles, "You Asked Me to Love" reminds us that God shouldn't be blamed for the problems we are facing today. Never ones to stray from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "It's What He's Done" gives exposition to the word "grace." If you are struggling to understand the nature of God's grace, "It's What He's Done" with its use of concrete slides from life's happenstances will do the explanation superbly. Those who like those old sounding gospel tunes with those enormous crescendos will love "The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference."
With musical execution borrowed from 90s pop-country and those soaring Rascal Flatts-esque harmonies, "Where the Love of God is Gonna Do" speaks of God's sovereignty over an infectously pulsating tune. A pair of songs that deal with the family need to be elucidated because they are really stellar. The first is a cover, "Love Without End, Amen." A 5 week #1 chart topper for George Strait in 1989, "Love Without End, Amen" circles around a father's love firstly from the perspective of a teenager to that of the same teenager who later became a father himself. Be prepared to have a box of Kleenex nearby as this is heart wrenching stuff at its best. The second is a Wilburn and Wilburn original "Shoulders." This is a top notch piano cum strings ballad that speaks of a grandfather's legacy and how Godliness can transcend generations. A must hear for all dads and granddads out there.
Hands down, "Shoulders" is the best effort that has come from this father and son duo. Not only does this record flourish with great tunes and heart melting lyrics, these songs allow us to see, feel, touch, and experience the love of God in tangible ways.