On his third solo album, former According to John lead singer John Waller expresses his faith vociferously, which comes as no surprise. But Waller's faith is not an uncomplicated statement of devotion to and praise of his Savior. Rather, he comes across as someone who has struggled, and that can lend depth to his musical testimony, even if some may find it unsettling. In the lead-off track, "Our God Reigns Here," Waller uses words like "doubt" (to say there is none) and "fear" (to say one should not), but it is striking that he begins by addressing himself not to God, but to...the Devil? His own doubts and fears? It's hard to say, though it's clear that he has come to this point through difficult experience. In "As for Me and My House," Waller declares, "I'm done with powerless religion/No more living in deception." He notes in "Because God Is Good" that things may not work out the way he wants them to, that things may seem to be falling apart, but that is "because God is good." In "Man of the Valley," he abandons his own contentment to seek out those in need of help. "The Jesus I Need" defines his version of Christ through restatement of scripture, which he notes is "more than a storybook fable." (But who said it wasn't?) Listeners may squirm a little at the, well, intimacy of "Fallen," in which Waller repeatedly refers to Jesus as his "intimate lover." But all of this is to say that this is one CCM artist who takes chances with his faith and the way he describes it, seeking an authenticity beyond the staples of praise and worship. Waller wants his religion active and in-your-face, and his fans are likely to respond to his call.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann