Album Review :
Preson Phillips - The Observant and the Anawim

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Artist: Preson Phillips
Album: The Observant and the Anawim
Reviewer: Stephen M

I decided to review Preson Phillips album titled “The Observant and the Anawim.” As described on Phillips website, the word “observant” is an English translation of the Hebrew word “tsadiq”, and it’s basic meaning is “one who adheres to the whole law of the Lord”. This tsadiq person would have been a Jew and would be awaiting the day of the coming Messiah. The “Anawim” was a group of poor Jewish women who would also be very observant of the law, and would spent parts of their day on the steps of the temple crying out to the Lord for oppressed peoples to be liberated, the poor to be provided for, the enslaved to be freed, for justice to flow freely and for the Messiah to come and redeem all of creation in a miraculous way.

In essence, the title of this record refers directly to Joseph and Mary.   “This is who they were,” says Phillips,  “but in another way, I would like it to represent the younger generation today who desires to truly follow Jesus in ways that have been forgotten, or seen as unimportant.”

Phillips wrote all the songs on this album for the church he pastors. They were written for their studies in the books of Acts and Galatians. As you listen to the songs, you notice the lyrics tell the same story as found in the book of Acts – Jesus is the universal Savior. An example from one of the songs:

“I’ve read how you came down as man
And lived like the poor
Showed love to the whore
Was beaten and torn
Hear how your coming to reign
And pour out your mercy
Renew all your lands,
Let love rule again!
And I’ve felt your kingdom, allow it to be
Holistic and perfect, Lord, saving and free
How good it will be!!!”

As you listen to this CD, the same prevalent theme is recalled: how we are broken, sinful and in need of a Savior, who is Jesus Christ. The lyrics are thought provoking and encourage you to seek deeper in your relationship with Jesus.

A couple members from Underoath (Timothy McTague and Aaron Gillespie) helped create this album. I do realize the worship genre is big and wide, but Preson Phillips stands out. He possesses a unique and full voice with a vast range, resembling a heavy band’s singing vocals. The sound of the album consists of melodic gentle acoustic guitar strumming with soft beats from the drums beautifully topped off by his wide range of vocals.
Everyone should have this album without a question. It has a modern day sound with an ancient spiritual message – plus it’s free!


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