Prime Cuts: Thy Will Be Done, Glorious Unfolding, Dear Yesterday
Overall Grade: 5/5
Michael Booth's new album evidenced by its titular "Dear Yesterday," is meant to be read like an endearing love letter. As with every letter that is apprized, the songs on this sonic letter are personal, hits at the heart, and most importantly, directionally channelled towards the Gospel. Each song tells a piece of the narrative of how the God's love letter as expressed through the Gospel has a way of shaping and framing our lives. Moreover, these songs also give us panacea of how we can face up to the jackboot of tyranny and rule of fear. Though there are only 8 (rather than the obligatory 10) songs, all of them are superb. In fact, they are so good that no superlative is enough to denote the songs' superiority.
Booth is a busy man. Besides this release, he and the Booth Brothers are releasing their new country music covers album under the Gaither Music imprint a week after. Booth further extends his relationship with his brothers by enlisting their frequent producer Jason Webb to produce "Dear Yesterday,."
"Dear Yesterday," opens with the upbeat 90s country-flavoured "What God Can Do." A great champion of God's sovereign grace, this song, together with Booth's animated delivery, will do wonders to our faith. "Dear Yesterday," is one of those novelty numbers where Booth details in a "letter" how his life has been changed since Jesus Christ. Though the letter-song concept is by no means neoteric (a la MercyMe's "Dear Younger Me" and Bebo Norman's "Britney"), Booth's "Dear Yesterday," is organic and palatable. Then Booth gets in his worship best with the ultra-catchy "We Trust in the Name" which is anchored upon Psalm 20:7.
The ballads are the album's apogee. "Thy Will Be Done" is a tour-de-force. The pensive piano noodling, the way Booth nuances each syllable with care and emotions, and the words which speak of our utter surrender make "Thy Will Be Done" stunning. "Glorious Unfolding" is a song that deserves rumination. The song carefully expounds on the theological axis that God's salvation story has yet to reach its climax. And there's more good news yet to come. While the piano-led "He Never Gives Up" is prided for its heartfelt lyrics which promises God's tenacious grace towards us.
Frankly, there's not a filler or a dud in this offering. If you want an album full of songs that have strong and melodic structures coupled with lyrics that are personal, affecting and passionately delivery, this is a must-read letter.