Coming off of the heels of the excellent Love Will Have the Final Word, an album that dared to explore the harsh reality of pain and despair, singer/songwriter Jason Gray offers the resolution to the struggle with Where the Light Gets In. Jason’s press release draws a distinction between the albums.
“Where the Light Gets In is really about having a more fully realized hope. It’s not a hope based on circumstances or on things going the way you hoped they would, but on a hope that abides, even when the worst happens.”
For Jason Gray, the worst came during a time when his stepfather was battling cancer, and he and Jason’s mom were losing their house as a result of the medical bills. Jason was trying to help them, but that ongoing emergency was only the tip of the iceberg. He was also faced with the breakup of his own home, and trying to learn to balance the demands of providing for his family as a touring recording artist with being, for the first time in his life, a single dad. “My last album was all about grief,” he says, “and so I wanted to make a statement right at the beginning of this record that it’s about hope and that it’s got some fun in it too.”
With song titles such as “I Will Rise Again”, “The Wound is Where The Light Gets In”, and “Where We Go From Here” thematically Where The Light Gets In is cohesive, and musically, Gray has never been more accessible. The style is consistent with other albums from Gray with the majority of the songs being more ballad like. Knowing the backstory of sorrow behind this album is inspiring. Jason was going through a huge amount of emotional stress. To experience death and divorce in such an overlapping way could cause many to feel as if hope was lost. Instead hope became the focus.
“The hope of Easter,” Jason says, recounting words his pastor once spoke, “isn’t so much for the people sitting in the hospital waiting room fearing what the news might be. The hope of Easter, rather, is for those who already got the worst news they ever could have imagined. A little over a year ago my own life came to that point. I had to say ‘The worst has happened. Now what? Where do we go from here?’ And in that aftermath, I started to write the songs I needed, and the songs I needed most were songs of hope.”
“The Wound is Where the Light Gets In” is the album’s centerpiece, a co-write with Jars Of Clay’s Dan Haseltine. The song is a beautiful reminder that brokenness leads to healing, and is the cornerstone of a fine pop album that can lead the listener to wholeness in Christ.