His joyful new album “Home” is a labor of love
Still, like all great albums, there’s also a more profound story being told. Garrels sings of love as a “weight,” and joy as “severe,” dispelling the notion that home is just about fuzzy feelings and familiar places. Instead, the album’s recurring images – fathers and sons, the dressing of wounds, the dinner table and the fireside – all point toward a single, profound idea: that home is the love of a family. In the bluesy “The Arrow,” he pulls the rug out from under the alternative: the philosophy of my life and my happiness is, ironically, the doorstep of destruction:
How long did I fool myself
Believing I didn’t need nobody’s help
A fool trusts in his power and his wealth
Until he’s brought down low
Into a shadow of himself
The gritty, self-giving love of family is different; it elevates us and makes us whole. Garrels looks to his parents (“Born Again”), to his wife (“Heaven’s Knife” – a candidate for the most romantic song ever recorded), and to his children ("Benediction”), seeing in all of them the healing power of home.
And in “Home at Last,” we see it’s family all the way up, even for those without one:
Who is there at the end of lonesome roads?
All of us hope there’s a home
A place to rest where wounds get dressed, the table’s full
The sound of laughter in the halls
Light the fire, gather ‘round
Join together, sing it loud
Raise the glass and joyful be
Home at last, one family
We’re all orphans looking for an open door
Hard times come no more
Come on up to the house of the Lord
Father adopts us all
Shortly after its release, Home shot to number twelve on the iTunes Top Albums chart between names like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, even with the free download available elsewhere – and it’s easy to see why. It’s not only the perfect album for springtime and Easter; it’s also a near-perfect album, a beautiful celebration of the love and communion that point the way to eternity.
“And I will always be,” Garrels chants to his fans from his humble backyard, “And I will sing for thee, all my life, all my love, day and night, all the way home…”
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