Eric Peters has always been an artist that can, somehow, take the deep pain in his life and transform it into useful catharsis for his listeners. This continues on his newest opus, The Far Side of the Sea. If you’re looking for a mellow summer-time album to play on a long stretch of highway, or on the patio on a languid summer evening, look no further. Musically, this is a terrifically accessible album; planted firmly in a category you might be tempted to call “guilty pleasures.” But there is no guilt here, except perhaps the guilt Peters wrestles with in his probing, vulnerable, yet hopeful lyrics.
The album opens with the kind of songwriter line that could drive you crazy wondering about the story behind it:
“I’ll never steal the show / but I once stole a car”
Peters paints this plaintive, tantalizing statement with a sunflower-golden melody and inky, electro-pop production – a combination this album keeps bringing for song after song.
Fear of hurting others, the specter of failure, and a gritty, dust-bowl weariness are the monsters loose under Peters’ starry night. The swirl of each song describes a search for hope that stubbornly refuses to be caught until, in the end, it catches you instead. Peters has long produced some of the smartest, most accessible faith based pop on the market. That his sales have never matched up with his ability is definitely a shame. Let’s help change that injustice, if we can.