I’ve had this free download since a couple of days after it came out, but I haven’t really listened to it or any other music since school started in the fall. In fact, once school starts, the work for it is all consuming and I pretty much don’t do anything for myself aside from exercising and cooking, so I was pleasantly surprised when I listened to it last night while I was sitting on the couch reading magazine articles and blog posts on the Interwebs. Each song is presented in a different style, and yet retains the overall theme of grace and redemption and healing.Love & War & The Sea in Betweentakes the listeners on a quest or a coming of age journey, but I never did feel as if I’d left the sight of the shore. There is challenge and comfort in the lyrics in a way I don’t often feel in Christian music. Garrels asks us to be self-reflective, but always reminds us that there is comfort just around the bend.
“The Resistence” is somewhere between a rap and a spoken word poem, “Ulysses” uses the story of the Odyssey as the background for a beauty rocking folk song, and “Beyond the Blue” inspires the listener to look beyond themselves with lyrics like “Plumbing the depths to the place in between/The tangible world and the land of a dreams/Because everything ain’t quite it seems/There’s more beneath the appearance of things/A beggar could be king within the shadows,/Of a wing.” I could go on, because each separate track has its own feel and its own message or lesson. But, the lessons aren’t heavy handed. The tracks are so well-written, they make my writer’s heart smile. Poetic, poignant, and beautiful. Each song is simply a comfortable reminder to be who we are purposed to be. Challenging but comfortable, like walking and talking with an old friend.