“A Voice In The Wilderness Volume 2” finds David Vaters in top form. This is a beautiful complex album that highlights the full brilliance of David’s genius, as well as the serenity and wisdom of a long, full life. Those of you who have listened to the previous, ambitious and critically acclaimed project, “A Voice In The Wilderness Volume 1 ”, showcasing a cast of a-league musicians, will know exactly what to expect. As this offers more of the same emotional experiences savored on that recording. Once again David enlightens us with his lyrical wisdom, as he warns about our cultural and spiritual shortcomings and our insatiable desire to reap personal fulfillment from worldly possessions. What David Vaters has given us here is a ten-song cycle that eloquently elaborates the daily vicissitudes of a man passionately uncovering the truths inside his soul.
The record is as much a view of both the beautiful and ugly corners of contemporary society, as it is an interior monologue on the power of faith. With unabashed, yet understated tenderness, there is none of the cloying quality in David’s voice and phrasing that somewhat mars your regular rock star’s performances. Vater’s sings from the heart at all times, without cunningly searching for the all-enticing hook.
The magnetizing power of his songs lie in the engaging melodies, the lavish production and the visceral approach he has to his storytelling vocal deliveries. More than simply singing a song David seems to be baring his soul. Hence the listener remains captivated all throughout the album.
“A Voice In The Wilderness Volume 2” is rock, it’s Americana, it’s thoughtful, gracious, beautiful, uplifting, and most of all it is David Vaters at his best. Here he opens up his heart for the most personal and most emotional release thus far. The electric, acoustic and organic composition of the songs are wonderfully orchestrated narratives mixed with hope and praise as Vaters chronicles the vivid gift and joy of believing.
He has created an album with vertically-focused worship songs. The record hits the ground running with “Castles In The Sand”, a mid-tempo song with a simple melody that you will find yourself quickly singing along to. On the heels of this anthem you will run into a tune written with the thought of avoiding resentment called “Forgive”. Starting off intimately with a piano and vocal lead-in, it falls into a beautiful groove as it hits the first chorus.
The first real universal standout arrives with “Godly Man”, a very worshipful song that contain powerful declarations to God, it employs a large and lavish rock arrangement. From here on out the album rises to amazing heights both musically and spiritually, as David’s relationship with God becomes more intense throughout the narratives.
“Brothers Of Mine” has a pretty deep meaning. It seems the song is telling the listener that the light shines brightest in the darkest places and times. One thing that I like about David Vaters for sure is the way he writes his songs, which make the listener imagine the situation and feel the meaning of every word in the track.
For arrangement, musicality and lyricism, moments of excellence can be savored on “Talking To God”, “Like I’ve Been Born Again” and “Service Of The King”, the best three back-to-back songs I have heard on any album during the last year or two. Regardless of genre.
It’s really hard to believe that “A Voice In The Wilderness Volume 2”, is only David Vaters’ second solo album. All things taken into consideration, it actually sounds like his twentieth. It does of course help that he had a roster of well-known players in the studio.
Including Grammy and Dove award winner Tom Hemby on guitars and mandolin, John Hammond and Brian Fullen on drums and percussion and Jeff Cox and Gary Lunn on Bass, Johnathan Brown on Keyboards, Susie Vaters and K.J. Raney on Background Vocals, and David Vest on background vocals, keyboards and orchestration, while David himself handles the Acoustic Guitar and of course the Vocals. All the songs were written by David Vaters, except “Castles in the Sand”, which was written in collaboration with Ward Pike.