Artist: Josh Reardon
Title: Villain EP
Release Date: 12/4/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Picking Up the Pieces
- True Sinner’s Prayer
With a vocal range similar to other rock-country artists like Third Day, Rhett Walker Band and needtobreathe, Josh Reardon has been around the Kentucky local music scene for more than 10 years. From humble beginnings as he sang bluegrass throughout local towns around the Kentucky area, Josh Reardon has released his brand-new 2012 EP, Villain, infusing rock, country, folk and gospel, all with a praise and worship musical element as he places his faith in Christ as a first and foremost theme throughout his 5 songs. Through this hopeful encouragement that Christ is near to us in our time of need, ‘…this will give a glimmer of hope to a person whose shame is eating them alive, to the addict who can’t put down the habit no matter how hard they try, and to the hard worker, who after years of sweat and toil for a company is let go as if they were trash…’ From guitar driven anthems like ‘Villain’ and ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ to the acoustic ‘Beautiful’; Josh’s music is a great reminder of God’s faithfulness to us during the times when we need Him the most. At times sounding similar to Joseph Rojas of Seventh Day Slumber and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns; Josh gives us 5 simple melodies of honesty and emotive passion as we are reminded everyday of God’s love for His children.
‘Villain’ is the first single off the EP, and starting off with an acoustic riff and a heartfelt plea, with Josh unveiling some of the most poignant and transparent lines of song. As we reflect upon the lines of how ‘…I’ve been hiding, yes I’ve been hiding like a villain on the run, and I wandered, yes I wandered to a place I don’t belong…’, I am reminded of how sometimes even as Christians, we can be deceived and even led to believe the things about ourselves that will only tear us down and belittle us in the long run. This appropriately titled ‘Villain’ gives us a clear reminder of who the devil is to us; and that with Christ on our side, we can overcome anything that is thrown against us. Through clever acoustics and nicely placed electric guitars as the song unveils a country-style theme with a faith-based message of God coming to set us free when we feel like we can’t escape from what’s keeping us down; ‘Villain’ is one of my favourite songs on the album full of hope and encouragement as both worship and praise are still the constant forefront of these 5 songs that are a must of any fan of the country/rock genre with a faith-based twist.
The remainder of the album offers a conglomeration of musical genres as Josh continues to sing about the God who continues to save is creation time and time again in moments when they really need it. ‘Picking Up the Pieces’ starts off with a guitar riff as Josh places on his ‘Joseph Rojas meets Jon Micah Summrell’ hat as he reveals to us a moment (may or may not be personal) in his life when all that could be done was cry out to God, that when everything seems to be at its worst, all we can do is ask God to ‘…show me Your grace tonight, I’m picking up the pieces, give me the strength, I can’t do this on my own…’ In this moment of surrender and realisation that Christ is who we can count on for our needs; we can understand and fully trust His providence over our lives. ‘Mirrors’ continues the theme of struggling in situations and asking for God to redeem them as Josh sings about the topic of mirrors, and how sometimes we can see ourselves the mirror does- with all our failures, blames and past mistakes hanging over our backs as we live out our days with the shame that we can never measure up to what seems to be expected of us. Through traditional country music fashion, Josh offers up solace in that everyone is struggling with the same thing- finding our own identity in the midst of times when we are told who we should be and what we should be like. God is our Father in heaven that we should look up to- and He is our mirror that we ought to imitate without any condemnation. Yet the most compelling songs are ‘True Sinners Prayer’ and ‘Beautiful’, both displaying topics that are vulnerable that seem to not be sung enough in music. ‘Beautiful is an acoustic worship song where Josh vulnerably cries out ‘… how wonderful, how marvellous, Your grace and love has rescued us, beautiful, beautiful…’ and ‘True Sinners Prayer’ is sung from a place of brokenness, to the point where we may sometimes sing out that ‘…I don’t understand the things I do, oh, save me from myself…’ Sometimes it’s a scary thing to admit that maybe the toughest enemy we need to confront is ourselves and how we can sometimes let the devil in with his lies and deceit. With both ‘Beautiful’ and ‘True Sinner’s Prayer’, I am reminded of who God is, and our own role in His never-ending story, and how who He is causes us to say the prayer of help and assistance. Well done Josh for these emotional, poignant and hopeful songs.
Overall: Josh Reardon’s latest EP is a gem for anyone who loves country or rock with a worshipful twist. From acoustic to anthems to electric guitar infused southern rock, Josh’s 5 songs are able to capture the Father’s heart for His children, and our own struggle to accept His unconditional love. With honest lyrics and musical genius, Josh is able to bring out the message of hope to listeners, as he ‘…prays to be the sound track to fellow brothers and sisters lives. To capture the moment for the birth of a couple’s child, for a couple’s first kiss and that same couple’s last kiss…’ One of the most enjoyable EP’s of recent months, well done Josh for such a rewarding and enjoyable musical offering.
RIYL: Rhett Walker Band, Third Day, needtobreathe, Seventh Day Slumber
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3