Album review: Hope, ache and struggle after the heady days of “Delirious?”
Of Burdens, Birds and Stars
Gone are the days when we used to sing twee “happy ever after” songs about the Christian life.
Older and wiser, some of us have owned up to the fact that following Jesus can be a rocky road. Things don’t always work out the way we planned.
That’s the belief behind this new EP from Stu G (Garrard), former lead guitarist of well-known Christian band Delirious? (the question mark was part of their logo). The six tracks are intensely honest and personal, admitting to the presence of doubt and fear in the spiritual life.
Even the musical approach tells us a different kind of story is being shared here. Yes, there are infectious rock melodies, but the tone is deliciously melancholic and Lennonesque. Opening track “Long Way Down” is pure confessional: “The fragments of my life/Scattered and on display/Not supposed to be this way”.
By the middle of this mini-album, on the track “Eyes”, there is a redemptive cry, “Smile, smile your beautiful smile/Lights up the room I forget for a while/ That life can be hard and pain is so real”. And then “Carry My Burdens” advises us to lean on a friend: “I’ll carry your burdens…You won’t make it on your own”.
Ultimately, “King of the Stars” explains prayer is the way through our personal darkness, as we summon “the one who can mend broken hearts/And make them perfect…again”.
Stu G points out in his accompanying notes that the heady days of Delirious? were followed by “hope, ache and struggle”. These compositions have emerged from that time. People wrestling with their own problems may also find some peace in this work, through the “unfinished story of grace”, as Stu calls the life that is hidden in Christ.
Available from www.stugworld.com