Consider John Waller a major buzz artist for 2007. Fresh off being named one of Billboard magazine’s “Faces to Watch,” the Colorado-based worship leader, songwriter and erstwhile lead singer of According to John becomes the latest signee with Beach Street, a Reunion Records imprint that’s also home to Casting Crowns.
Speaking of the Crowns, Waller’s
passionate style and church ministry mindset impressed that band’s front man, Mark Hall, so much that Hall helped Waller get signed. What’s more, Hall lends his voice to Waller’s debut title track, which challenges believers to speak positively into the lives of others.
Waller’s distinctive sound reflects the praise-oriented heart of a humble, devoted servant. From the propulsive opener “Calling for a Flood” to the balladic intonations of “Breathe on Me,” Waller’s robust, inimitable vocals and reflective lyrics should resonate well with fans of modern worship purveyors such as Chris Tomlin and David Crowder.
Bright spots occur on buoyant tracks like “Love to Say Your Name,” wherein Waller reminds listeners of the power of verbalizing God’s multifaceted moniker (“Elohim…Adonai…Jehovah Jireh…El Shaddai”). Then there’s his fresh take on the prodigal son evidenced on poignant cut “Still Calls Me Son,” which tackles the reality of universal rebellion.
As one who has previously struggled with depression, Waller conveys his message with refreshing authenticity and unabashed openness. And while the 10-track disc seems to end a bit abruptly, it’s sure to leave listeners wanting more. Bottom line: the buzz is certainly well deserved.
Review Provided by CCMmagazine.com