Light for the Lost Boy
Artist: Andrew Peterson
Length: 10 tracks/48:57 minutes
Light for the Lost Boy by Andrew Peterson is his boldest, most imaginative work. The theme and music are more fully realized than any of his previous releases, with the possible exception of Behold the Lamb of God: the True Tale of the Coming of the Christ, a Christmas classic.
Aside from the winsome songwriting, a major reason is the production team of Jason Cooley, Ben Shive and Andy Gullahorn, all long-time collaborators, who take Peterson’s music to a new level. It’s not radically different; they just make the production a little more sophisticated and include some programming and other embellishments.
“The Cornerstone” is the most obvious example. Vocal layering, a snatch of ethereal keyboard reminiscent of Jeff Johnson, a haunted swirl of B3 and unhinged guitar imagine a God strange and wild. It’s Peterson as you have rarely heard him. It’s a child’s view: a God inscrutable.
The latter is what also makes this noteworthy. Much of Lost Boy is a perspective on childhood and the loss of innocence. It is fertile ground for exploring mystery and wonder along with questioning and doubt. The hard-edged notes underscore that the world is fallen. All is not as it should be.
Peterson directly addresses his children on “You’ll Find Your Way.” Most songs are more subtle, lighting a path for them to follow. This is record that they can return to when older, encouraging them to order their ways aright.
Songs like “Carry the Fire” bring the welcome reminder that we are not alone. God gives marvelous comrades that support us when we falter.
This steadfast, unconditional love is highlighted on “Rest Easy,” which Peterson wrote with his wife in mind, but also represents Christ’s love for his church. A wondrous thing happened when they began conceiving a video for what is perhaps the finest single that Peterson has ever done. Why not have a contest and let fans interpret the song? Check out the first place winner with tissue in hand. This is a near perfect piece of pop with a bittersweet video.
The epic, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone,” clocking in at nearly 10 minutes, offers this resolve to the recurring storyline: “Every little boy grows up, and he’s haunted by the heart that died/Longing for the world that was before the Fall/Oh, but then forgiveness comes/It’s a grace that I cannot resist/Oh, I just want to thank someone/I just want to thank someone for this.”
One can surmise that Peterson’s work as an author of children’s books has influenced this work, including the enchanting cover. Since this may be his best release yet, let’s hope that in addition to writing whimsical adventures, he keeps singing them. I will keep listening as long as he does.