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Album Review: Jon Buller – Come Awake (2022)

His first full-length release since 2009’s Light Up the Sky, Canadian worship artist Jon Buller has triumphantly returned to the album scene. The Juno-nominee came back very ambitiously with his announcement of, not one, but two full-length projects set to release in 2022. Recorded at Farmhouse Music in Vernon, BC, Buller’s first album of the two is acoustic-based Come Awake

The tracks “Thankful” and “Blessed” have the utmost relevance in the modern climate. They lyrically serve as a beacon of light in the storm of the modern world and all its challenges, including political turmoil, racial injustice, and the global pandemic.  

“Thankful” was appropriately released as Come Awake‘s first single right around American Thanksgiving. It’s an optimistic tune with a lovely, lilting chorus. Lyrically, it serves as, not only a reminder, but an invitation to “acknowledge a Creator that also loves the world despite the circumstances, and be thankful in the midst of it.”

Taking a bit of a detour from the flow of the rest of the album, “Blessed” leans pretty heavily into a more funky, impromptu feel which gives off a noticeably comedic tone. That being said, it doesn’t over-commit and become merely a joke; it maintains creative composition and comes across in a fun and enjoyable way instead, while also serving some very topical lyrics. Petty cool that a traditional benediction was sneakily presented in such a jam-ish tune. 

The best song here is “Running.” The second single is an alluring and melancholic song with powerful and relevant lyrics. The whole song is extremely memorable, but the bridge in particular is fantastic, with some gorgeous layered background vocals over the poignant lyrics, “I’m just a kid in my heart with the question ‘do I belong?’ / ’cause I want to belong.” The melodies here can and will get stuck in your head throughout the day. 

The final track is “Christ is Risen.” Harmonic notes play over a repeating piano note in the intro and outro, the layered harmonies are smooth as butter, and the organ work is subtle yet powerful. All of these clever additions give the song something of an ethereal nature, and helps it to be the perfect song to close out the album.  

In its entirety, Come Awake is an inviting collection of songs that can certainly give you a reassuring boost in the midst of complex world circumstances. With a welcome and uplifting return, Buller proves the wait was certainly worth it. 

You can purchase the hard and digital copy of the album from Buller’s website by clicking right here. You can also stream his music on Spotify and keep up-to-date with all his new releases by clicking here. Last but not least, check out everything else Buller has going on by heading to this link right here.

Come Awake will be released single-by-single until February 11, and the follow-up, Different Now, is due in spring, 2022.

Overall rating: 8/10

Published by Jeremy Bader

Aspiring writer, film and music lover, drummer.

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