Phil Wickham might not be a household name, but his sophomore album “Cannons” sets him apart for his passion and devotion to Jesus Christ. Unlike some Christian artists who blend within the secular community, Wickham, 22, stands apart for his honest uncompromised lyrics and current indie sound.
San Diego native, comparable to Coldplay and Keane, expressed his idea for the “Cannons” title on a video posted on MySpace. The title became a metaphor when he looked at the sky that he said explodes with the presence, evidence, and existence of God that inspires his creation to worship him.
This album takes the listener on a journey. Starting off with fast rock then moving into acoustic melodies and ending with soft worship. “Must I Wait,” the opening track starts off with dramatic electronics and Wickham’s faint distinct voice heard in the distance. It then transitions with heartfelt wailing guitars and vocals that depict the yearning for Christ. But the bridge seemed out of place.
“After Your Heart,” is another taste of Wickham’s indie rock that encourages this generation to chase after God. “Desire,” gives an excitement to worship God with its climatic upbeat chorus. “Cannons,” blares with electric guitar and drums, developing into a rich melody.
“Sailing on a Ship,” is an exquisite work from Wickham. Incorporating the Dobro and Lap Steel the instrumentation of the song illustrates Wickham’s lyrics. The poetic track expresses the storms of life and God’s presence throughout them.
“The Light Will Come,” based solely upon beautiful guitar picking and vocals, proves that less is more.
“Shining” gives a twist to Wickham’s original independent release “Give You My World.” Althought the much slower version was great, this one is also exceptional in its own way. “Jesus Lord of Heaven,” one of the first songs Wickham ever wrote was also re-created with a new tag for “Cannons.”
“Beautiful” has angelic harmonies while “Spirit Fall,” gives another worship tune. “Home” as well as “True Love” are the most powerful due to their biblical lyrics. “Home” depicts the story of the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke, which spoke to Wickham about God’s forgiveness when we turn from him.
“True Love” tells the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ describing his own death and resurrection that is best represented in his chorus, “The earth was shaking in the dark, all creation felt the Fathers broken heart. Tears were filling heavens eyes the day that true love died. When blood and water hit the ground, walls we couldn’t move came crashing down. We were free and made alive, the day that true love died.” Both challenging and compelling, this song drives Christian listeners to question where they stand with Christ.
“Cannons” is a treasure not just because the music or Wickham’s effortless vocal range, but each song offers an opportunity to meet with and worship God.