Andrew Peterson‘s new record, Light for the Lost Boy, came out last week, but a business trip and a busy weekend conspired against me. So, my first listen to the record didn’t come until this morning. There is so much I could say about this record that I don’t even really know where to begin.
Great records seem to come out of pain. Much as I love Peterson’s earlier records, they’ve succeeded due to their beautiful melodies and tightly-crafted lyrics. The truth is present in his word-art, but it hasn’t as often fully resonated with the deep soul ache of a man wrestling with the fallenness of the world and the goodness of God.
Light for the Lost Boy, though, changes all that. From the opening line of the record (“I remember the day of the Tennessee flood…”), Peterson examines the fallen beauty of the world, the joy of childhood, and the loss of innocence that comes as we grow up. (I’d highly recommend Jonathan Rogers’ piece on this record over on The Rabbit Room. Jonathan says it way better than I can.)
In “The Cornerstone”, he examines the experience of colliding with Jesus in a life-changing way. “The Voice of Jesus” sits in contrast as a lullaby to a child, recognizing how God speaks to her through “the ache in your bones”. The final track, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone?” is epic in length (9 minutes 57 seconds!) and in scope, tracing the course of human history from the goodness of creation through the fall and finally to the ultimate reckoning.
Sonically this record breaks some new ground for Peterson. While some tracks (including the official pre-release, “Rest Easy”) will sound familiar to the ears of long-time Peterson fans, at least half of the record builds energy with electric guitars and electronic beats. While the record was produced by Ben Shive and Cason Cooley, the opening track had me thinking that my friend Andy Osenga had a hand in it. (The song “Carry the Fire” is AP’s nearly exact corollary to Andy O’s “Hold The Light”. This is a good thing.)
If it isn’t clear enough from my review already, Light for the Lost Boy is highly, highly recommended. It would be presumptuous of me to declare it my new favorite Andrew Peterson record after only one listen. However, given that after one listen I can remember every song and a particular way that it stuck with me, I think that future listens (of which there will be many) will only cement this record as a long-time favorite from Peterson.