Crafting nine diverse songs related to the Resurrection is no small feat.
Label: Centricity Music
Length: 9 songs/39 minutes
“His Heart Beats” is a dramatic open to Resurrection Letters, Vol. 1 by Andrew Peterson. The song is about the moment when Christ came alive. The underlying percussion mimics a heartbeat. The rhythm relentlessly propels the song forward. The electric guitar work has an otherworldly sound. Similarly, the hammer dulcimer sounds more like a sitar. The words are sung with a hushed insistence.
On the verge of proclaiming Christ’s victory over the grave, Peterson references the ancient hymn, “So crown him the Lord of life/crown him the Lord of love/crown him the Lord of all.” It’s an interlude of worship, as the music suddenly resolves from its urgency.
The next track, “Risen Indeed,” is as poetic as the first track is exhilarating.
And so the winter dies with a blast of icy wind
Like a mournful cry, it’s giving up the ghost again
Another sheet of snow melts away to gold and green
Look at Peter go, he’s racing to the tomb to see.
Peterson is a wordsmith of the highest order. He is skilled in combining theology and sound in vibrant ways; it’s not at all wooden. It helps too when you have a first-class producer and performer like Ben Shive at the helm.
The chorus of “Remember Me” is like a mesmerizing chant. In contrast, the verses are backed by a hip-hop rhythm led by the sound of a snare drum. Peterson fires off the lines in a steady rap. I don’t think he has ever done anything like this. Its uniqueness in this collection is immediately appealing.
The music of “I’ve Seen Too Much” is indicative of the roots music sound heard on several tracks. Unlike those who profess the faith but now deny it, I cannot go back. I’ve seen too much of the reality. The faith once delivered, with all its mystery and perplexity, remains the best explanation for this present life.
“Remember and Proclaim” is a communion song that expertly captures the double application of this rite. The cheery rhythm and lead guitar work make for a joyful sound.
“Maybe Next Year” appears to have been inspired in part by a trip to the Western Wall and the phrase “next year in Jerusalem,” the last words in the traditional Passover. Believers in Messiah look forward to his return, when they will meet in the New Jerusalem. Andrew Osenga’s guitars are prominent, heralding this long-held desire.
“Is He Worthy?” may be the finest, most worshipful composition that Peterson has ever done. It is in a liturgical style. Peterson asks a series of questions whose answers are self-evident. They address the mood of our times. A choir responds to each call in the affirmative. The chorus exalts Christ as the only one worthy; there is no other. It’s a reminder to continually look from ourselves to Christ. The first brings despair; the other hope.
I sent the YouTube video to my 81, soon to be 82, year old mother, who became elated. Immediately, she asked for a copy and more by the “new guy.” For those who have not found what they are looking for in Christian artists, Peterson is one of many making valid art. He has been around for years making music worthy of the Name. As on the closing “All Things Together,” he gives glory to God for all that Christ has done and is doing. Truly, all things are held together by the risen and exalted Christ.
Be sure to check out Resurrection Letters: Prologue, which I have reviewed separately and is a companion to this recording. Buy it as one one package if available. Otherwise get both. Prologue is smaller, but just as good if not better, and an important introduction to this work.