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Music Review: Andrew Peterson – Counting Stars

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Through the ages, poets have been often misunderstood, yet they are regarded as profound in their musings. Poesies only strive to express their evocative feelings creatively, and Andrew Peterson glistens as one. Since coming across his poetic style of worship music with the CD Love and Thunder (2003), I’ve always kept a keen eye out for his works. Besides singing/songwriting, Peterson is also an award winning book author.

Meanwhile, Nashville will be hosting one of the most unique creative conferences this summer at Hutchmoot 2010, which is being presented by The Rabbit Room and hosted by none other than Andrew Peterson. The event is scheduled to take place at the Church of the Redeemer, 920 Caldwell Lane, over the weekend of August 6-8.

However, with this week’s release of new album Counting Stars, his second effort since joining Centricity Records, Peterson yet again produces an arrangement of melodic songs with deep meanings relevant for now.

The singer/songwriter’s new 12-track project was recorded within eight days in the company of his partners in crime, Ben Shive and Andy Gullahorn, and with their guitars and piano. They managed to put everything together without ever leaving home. The allegory behind Counting Stars stems from the themes depicted in the tracks between his relationship, heritage and hope, combined with the hope of God’s promise to Abraham.

Starting off in the background with the calming melodic blend of the horn-guitar and the piano, chiming out that country feel, “Many Roads” invites the audience on a journey back to being sensitive in our walks with God through “the many paths and fields we come across that may have been trying to tell us a story, in case we missed out on the essence of purposeful walking.”

This intro to the album ushers in a steady pop beating with next track “Dancing In The Minefields,” a song based on reflections from the school of love, relationships, family, and perseverance, which involves periods of joy, sailing through storms, and how harder than anticipated it is, though this is the essence of the promise. But holding on to the Son of Man is our only anchor to sail through all these periods securely.

“Planting Trees” is a reminder about the legacy we’d need to leave, which is our love for God lived out as the love for people. With the piano chiming enters “The Magic Hour,” which is an invitation to come apart away from the noise and tumults into that timeless place of fellowship with the Creator.

In “World Traveler,” it is the adventurer’s dream within us whilst growing up to travel the whole world, which comes true someday ’til one is tired of tripping, only to realize that the real traveling left unexplored are the kids and your woman you have at home. She is the one we need to unravel the mystery of love within her heart.

Then, Andrew Peterson continues with a eulogy to his family legacy and heritage in Christ with “Isle Of Skye” and “God Of My Fathers.” In “Fool With A Fancy Guitar,” a new theme opens up with a fresh motive: reflections on the inner frailties, inner warfare, and the sheer reality of these incessant battles. But above all, it speaks to the realization that the grace we have in Christ encourages us to remember we are priests and princes in the Beloved.

This is nicely followed by “In The Night,” where hope lives on in view of whatever life’s battles we may face, remembering that others before us have passed through the same and overcome. This gives our hope a buzz to live on, particularly in those darkest hours.

This is followed by the poignant “You Came So Close,” which is about reflecting how close the believer comes to giving up hope, yet still finds more in his recess to forge ahead, refusing to give up!

Finally, with slowly mounting rocking beats comes a cry out (like the deep yearnings of the despondent) for a Divine Intervention, as Peterson wraps up the CD with “The Reckoning.”

Counting Stars is an all-embracing music any lover of Christian folk gospel and contemporary music would warm to.

Track Listing.
1. Many Roads
2. Dancing In The Minefields
3. Planting Trees
4. The Magic Hour
5. World Traveler
6. Isle Of Skye
7. God Of My Father
8. Fool With A Fancy Guitar
9. In The Night
10. You Came So Close
11. The Last Frontier
12. The Reckoning

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A niche media commentator, technophile and entrepreneur. A frequent freelance writer for major media outfits apart from running own weblogs. A few of which include; Yahoo voices, Lionsgate, EMI Music, Audiofile Magazine et al.