Review: Shawn McDonald – Closer
March 22, 2011Posted by on
March 22 2011
Reviewed By Tyler Hess
If you had been wondering just what had been going on with Shawn McDonald lately, as if he had disappeared completely, there’s good reason for that. McDonald has been going through a lot personally, struggles and trials that have sidelined him for awhile, dealing with counseling after a failed marriage ending in divorce. While this is not something that any of us would want to go, we would all want to know that there is hope and grace in times of failure, which is what McDonald found and expresses through his latest release, Closer.
Shawn McDonald has been releasing music for quite some time now, so detailing his acoustic, soulful pop rock is probably unnecessary, but if you’re new to the scene and want to hear something along the lines of Jimmy Needham, then you’re in the right place. Closer starts off with a jazzy declaration that “something’s gotta change”, before the title track and first single expounds upon that idea by surrendering in the lyrics that say “You can have all of me, anything, everything, I just want to be closer”. That’s followed up by the smoothly sung “Control”, which has unfortunately misplaced guest hip hop and reggae cameos.
In times of despair, it can be easy to want to quit, but McDonald’s response lies in “Don’t Give Up”. It’s easy to sense the desperation throughout the album, as he lays it on pretty thick, just trying to make it through a single day in “Faithful”, but the sense is never lost that McDonald plans on doing that by God’s faithfulness, rather than his own strength. “Mystery” depicts a man who is searching for more, which is really the theme of the album as a whole, painted throughout the artist’s reflection of misses and hope for change.
Sometimes I hear an album full of woe and sorrow, but I don’t really understand if they are really going through those hard times or if they just sound better in a song. Shawn McDonald’s “Closer” is not an album of personal triumph, but one of renewed joy in the midst of self-inflicted wounds.
- Better Way
- Don’t Give Up
- Eyes Forward
- Something Real
- The Space Between Us