There’s two types of songs in Christian music, those that we sing to and about God, praise and worship, and then those that are story oriented that tell stories about faith, devotion, struggles, hardship, overcoming and the faithfulness of God. Joe Deegan‘s second album, Cover and Title Page, is filled with the latter, songs that tell a story. His voice and style is similar to artists like James Taylor, John Denver, or on the Christian side of things, Rich Mullins. Like a wizened sage observing the pages of his life, Joe retells scenes that many can find familiar, cruising down roads, funerals, love, loss, and finding the faithfulness of God. His stories are relatable, but many are understated with an unmistakable trust and faith in God. Like every book, they all have a cover and a title page, and this story is filled with song.
Cover and Title Page begins with the title track, a song that explains how there’s a story in every moment of life, from beginning to end, and in each life. It’s a beautiful ode to the fragility of humanity. Touches of classic southern country and a bit of drawl rolls off of Deegan’s lips as he belts out “Singing River,” an ode to the area he grew up. After a few toe tapping tunes, “A Heart that Won’t Open” slows down, and if you aren’t made of stone, will reach in and rip your heart out, only to prepare you for the onslaught of tears to be had in the next song, “Hosea.” An often overlooked book in the Bible, this song sums up the prophet’s life and beautifully displays the dichotomy that Hosea faced in his relationship with his bride, and as the Lord with Israel. This song is a definite highlight, and must be heard. “The Wedding Feast” is a celebration of to whom which Christ is willing to reconcile to himself, incorporating familiar verses. Cover and Title Page ends with “Further Up and Further In.” While it speaks of the end, both of this life, this age and the age to come, it is by no means an end to the chapters we are living out.
Beautifully woven together in a tapestry of song and sung with skill, Joe Deegan’s Cover and Title Page is a concept album that binds faith with life, a strong current of the redeeming quality of God’s love for us and for His people, as well as some great lyrical skill and melody work. A hint of classic country, filled with folky sounds, it sounds timeless.
If you are looking for songs that are story oriented, or have a rabid James Taylor fan that is inclined to something more Christ centered, get it. You’ll fall in love.
Joe Deegan has a previous release, The Risen King, a folk inspired retelling of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His hometown is Tuscumbia, AL and currently resides in Houston, TX.
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