Jared Anderson - "The Narrow Road" Review
The Narrow Road, the newest solo worship release from Jared Anderson brings us a few songs you’ve likely heard before, but lots of fresh new worship music that will inspire the soul and minister to hearts.
Produced by Michael Rossback (Gungor, Paul Baloche), this album includes co-writes with some heavy hitters in modern worship music, like Don Poythress, Jennie Lee Riddle, and Jonathan Lee, just to name a few. Regardless of the partnering writers, you can hear Anderson’s distinctive style all over this album – and that is a very good thing!
The album begins with “Bless the Lord,” which you have heard previously from New Life Worship. The New Life version featured a female lead vocal, so Anderson leading on this version certainly adds a different dynamic.
Another track we’ve heard before is “Great I Am.” This rendition, while very similar to the “original,” has more textures and layers, leading to a more dynamic overall sound. The kicker on this song for me, however, is the chorus after the 2nd bridge. At this point, the arrangement completely cuts out, leaving us with just pure gang vocals proclaiming “Hallelujah, holy holy . . .” I wasn’t expecting this, and while I heard it for the first time sitting on an airplane for a business trip, the simplicity and purity of this worship moment literally made me tear up. Well played, sir. Well played.
“Narrow Road,” the title track for the album, is an absolute highlight. The groove and feel of the song is wonderfully understated, yet textured well and paired with a solid melody. At the end of the song the listener is treated to an instrumental that builds up to a spoken word portion where Jared reads Matthew 7:1-14, solidifying the truths we just heard sung in the song.
Another bright spot early on is the (single from the album) “Impossible Possible.” This is a fun song, combining the classic Jared Anderson sound, along with some chunky guitars and a memorable melody. This song is also great for the kids! My kids love it, and I heard elsewhere that other kids have enjoyed the tune.
Lastly, this wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t mention the final song on the album, “I Am Free.” Written by Jon Egan, this is one of the main songs any worship leader thinks of when the Desperation Band is mentioned. I have heard Jared’s solo rendition of this song previously, so I expected the same. I was happily surprised to then hear guest vocals from both Jon Egan and Glenn Packiam! It’s like a mini original Desperation Band reunion! Admittedly, the mixing of the vocals seems a little off (lots of Glenn, not a lot of Jon), but it’s a great way to end the album.
There is SO MUCH to say about this album, but I don’t have the ability to cram it all in here. After listening, I imagine you will want to “Bless the Lord” as you “Behold Your God.” You will believe that “When the King Comes,” He will make all things new. You will know that when you “Call On the Name of the Lord,” “Jesus Makes the Impossible Possible” and will provide for your needs “According to His Word.” You will be encouraged to walk the “Narrow Road” and “Go Ye” into the world proclaiming that “The King is Coming.” See what I did there?
Read the September issue of the All About Worship Digital Magazine for your chance to win a free copy of this CD!
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