Music Review: Joy & Sorrow Meet by Weston Skaggs

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December 16, 2016
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Music Review: Joy & Sorrow Meet by Weston Skaggs
Weston Skaggs - Out of The Wreckage

Basic Details

Release Date
Price (RRP)
£7.99

Album Details

Artist(s)
Label(s)

Track Listing

Track1
Let a Song Go out from My Heart
Track2
Lay It Down
Track3
Glory to Your Name
Track4
Blush
Track5
Hammer & Nails
Track6
Greater Than You Know
Track7
Home, Pt. 1
Track8
The Reach
Track9
Down in My Soul
Track10
Out of the Wreckage
Track11
Home, Pt. 2
Track12
Pocket Sized God
Track13
Creation Will Sing Your Song

Buying Options

WATERTOWN, NY – Sprig Music is pleased to announce our partnership with recording artist and worship leader Weston Skaggs. As the newest artist on the Sprig roster, Skaggs comes with a long history of ministry to the church, as well as a deep reservoir of powerful songs that we believe the world needs to hear.

Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Skaggs is known for his unique blend of indie folk music and American roots. Add to that his heart for the local church, and what comes out is a worship leader who’s able to paint pictures of the highs and lows of the human experience. His songs are deeply authentic and accessible, drawing from situations like the dramatic birth of his daughter.

“My wife, Amy, nearly died in childbirth with Paisley,” recounts Skaggs. “She lost 10 liters of blood due to hemorrhaging, and underwent a hysterectomy during a 4-hour life-saving surgery.” The implications of the surgery are far-reaching, as anyone can imagine. But Skaggs insists that God used the experience for good. “Some extraordinary things happen to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against them. Only one thing can account for it all—the love of God in Christ Jesus.”

And it’s precisely from this sort of place that Skaggs penned the lyrics to of his upcoming LP Joy & Sorrow Meet. “Out of the wreck I rise,” he says, “every single time.”

Editor review

1 reviews

Joy And Sorrow Meet
Overall rating 
 
9.2
Vocals 
 
10.0
Lyrics 
 
9.0
Originality 
 
10.0
Value 
 
10.0
Personal Rating 
 
8.0

How many professional albums have the vulnerability to start off with directions of how you're going to lay the track down? Well that's how this album starts and with this live track "Let A Song Go Out From My Heart" starts up with a very comfortable country style and a nice husky vocal that picks up the lyrics. It's quite a simple track and like much of this album it's a fairly stripped-back production, there are a couple of guitars and some backing singers and that great voice.

The album moves into a more traditional studio feel for the rest of the tracks starting with "Lay It Down" which continues with the country singer style, but this is very definitely worship as Weston sings about laying down the worry that we so often carry through our lives. There is a good piece of instrumental through this track which highlights the guitars and the organ which drops away to just a vocal and a light tambourine. "Glory To Your Name" features the steady voice complimented by a simple xylophone (I think) which builds a great track giving glory to God.

The vulnerability of the artist is once-again on display with "Blush" which features an organic opening as he asks for an adjustment on the track, this leads into a track about how he views the world around him, and the feeling that he should care a little more for the people who he see's around him. This is so honest and raw and this introspection should encourage the same self-examination. Do we care about the people we see around us? Do we feel for the lives torn apart by war, drugs or the lack of love? The challenge here is to think a little more of others and a little less of ourselves.

At times this album is happy to sit in the Country / Worship vein, but there are a few songs that feel more experimental. One of these is "Hammer & Nails" where the percussion is punctuated by a hammer and nail sound. The track is a song about the cross, the meaning of that gruesome event. It's this track that gives the album it's name as it discusses Calvary as the place where "Joy and Sorrow Meet". There are a number of elements in this song that finishes with a great version of "There is a Fountain Filled With Blood" written by William Cowper bringing us back to the main country feel of the album.

"Greater Than You Know" is a song of encouragement that reminds us of the depth of God's love and it is fitting that it comes after the examination of the crucifixion. God poured out His love with the greatest sacrifice making us sons and daughters and then Weston reminds us that "your Fathers love is greater than you know."

"Home Pt. 1" see's the welcome return of the organ from "Lay It Down". This song is a story that echoes elements of the Prodigal Son told in the first person of someone who runs away from home and the one that loves him there. There is a reminder that even as we leave there is someone still waiting, still looking, loving and longing for the return. A few tracks later this song is picked up again with "Home Pt. 2" which completes the story. In the meantime the songs in the middle of these two parts stand alone and yet add to the themes already opened up - as "The Reach" talks about God's love waiting for us and chasing us through our lives concluding "I could never outrun the reach your love has for me." "Down In My Soul" is in the Country Gospel style that has overtones of Elvis but is about preparing to go to Heaven, so this is about getting ready to be welcomed home.

One of the songs that stands out here is "Out Of The Wreckage". This is a song of hope and defiance that no matter what happens we can rise out of that wreckage, with trust in God there is hope that we can be rebuilt. This is a song that will resonate with anyone who has been through a disastrous event - and hopefully with those who find themselves there right now. With God there is a way through. This is capped off with "Home Pt. 2" which completes the story, invites us to the party and reminds us that God will never leave His children alone.

"Pocket Sized God" is a slightly more upbeat and tongue-in-cheek track about how many of us view God. I will not spoil it for you but in the humour it really rings true! This album has a great indie-country feel and Weston has a great vocal which can really help the lyrics hammer straight into your soul in some places, tweak at your heart in others and also encourage you in your worship and outlook on life too. This album has 14 tracks finishing with a worship track that reminds us that all "Creation Will Sing Your Song". This stretches the vocal further and leaves the listener with a positive worshipful vibe.

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