Phil Wickham Album Review: Cannons (2007)

Leave a comment down below to request an album for me and Robby to review. Any artist, any genre, we’ll give it a chance!

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Cannons, Christian artist Phil Wickham’s second album. To lend a second opinion, I brought my buddy Robert on board with me.

In green is my opinion. Christian music is nowhere near my primary genre, though I am familiar with its general sound. I’m excited to listen to Phil Wickham, as his musical style seems promising.

In blue is my cousin Robert’s opinion. He is unfamiliar with Phil Wickham, but is a fan of Skillet and some other Christian bands.

Must I Wait

Contemporary Christian music rarely packs a punch, generally regarded by the masses as being underwhelming. Must I Wait is a song that promises anything but disappointment. This song opens up Cannons with smoke and fire. The electric instrumentation, the excited drums, and Wickham’s edgy vocals amount to an intense listen, full of energy and emotion. Must I Wait is a Christian song with value outside of church, which is precisely what I am looking for when it comes to Christian music.

Must I Wait kicks off the album with some great vocals along with some nice guitar playing. I feel like this song is intended to take you on a journey of some sort. The melody is beautiful and the bass line is likewise nice to hear. Must I Wait is a good way to start off the album.

After Your Heart

After Your Heart, while it is fluffier than Must I Wait, still manages to retain both edge and power. Phil Wickham can undoubtedly sing with passion, his emotion audible. The stand-out instrument in this song is the piano, offering a beautiful little melody that serves as the backbone of the song. After Your Heart has a commercial sound that glosses over the entire track, but it is decent nonetheless.

After Your Heart is an uplifting song with pleasant piano at the beginning. You can clearly detect the Christian vibe within the music. After Your Heart reminds us that God will always love us. It is a pleasure to hear music that inspires people to keep their faith.

Desire

A worship song? Yes. A worship song that is bold? Not quite. Overcharged electric guitar and ceaseless drums ring out for the duration of the song, signifying a spiritual outpouring that is supposed to be occurring within the listener. That outpouring didn’t happen. If the easy vibe teased at the beginning of the song was embraced, Desire would have been enjoyable, as the sound was Arctic Monkeys-esque, an attribute I would never expect to assign to a Christian song. Instead, Desire is simply a Christian song as Christian songs are understood by the mainstream.

The first 20 seconds of Desire could easily be my morning alarm, as it would provide for a pleasant waking. Once again, I love the guitar because of the mellow vibe I get from it. Wickham’s vocals are also delightful, effectively communicating his positive message.

Cannons

Wickham aimed for Coldplay’s In My Place but instead got Coldplay’s Paradise. That’s not a compliment. The dreamy pings dancing behind Wickham’s voice are spice to the track and the lyrics are honest in delivery, but Cannons suffers from the bug that plagues an abundance of Christian music, one of unreasonably loud instrumentals and unnecessary, cheesy chants. Cannons is not a failure, but a disappointment.

I love the galaxy-themed lyrics and how they tie in with the Lord above. I also like the fact that Wickham points out that we as humans are unworthy of being loved by God due to the fact that we sin everyday, yet He still loves us no matter what. I wish more people could dish out positive messages like those in Cannons.

Sailing On a Ship

Sailing On a Ship is beautiful. The acoustics are poignant, the drumming is inspiring, and the vocal melody of the chorus is stirring. Furthermore, the harmonies within the chorus are notably well-executed, adding depth to an already strong song. Sailing On a Ship is an anthemic, dynamic feat that is a joy to listen to.

Yo ho ho and away we go on a mellow voyage on the great blue sea. Sailing On A Ship is a beautiful song from start to finish. It talks about the fact that no matter what life throws at us, we still find a way to get through it all by praying to God above. We all hope to reach heaven someday, so just seize every day, repent your sins, live a great life, and you will have a smooth ride after your time has come.

The Light Will Come

A pretty song? Sure. A song that is interesting? No. A minute and twenty seconds into the track, distorted guitar creeps back from Sailing on a Ship, but it is not executed nearly as well as it was on the aforementioned success of a song. Not much is happening here. I feel that The Light Will Come is ideal for a live church setting, but the studio recording unfortunately falls flat.

I always love when a song starts off with nothing but an acoustic guitar followed by nice sounding vocals. The song is obviously about God’s light and how we all await the day for it to shine on us. The light reminds us that evil has lost and peace is coming.

Shining

Shining is a song that is in formulaic balance, as the melodies are tight, the vocals are acceptable, and the instrumentation is satisfactory. Nonetheless, there was no feeling within the song. The track comes across as passionless. Once again suffering from the Christian music bug, Wickham and his backing band lack subtlety and embrace the norm. Shining is underwhelming, contrary to its title’s implications.

I love all of the instruments in Shining, especially the bass, which keeps me hooked onto Wickham’s music. Shining is another uplifting song that will raise the faith of anybody listening to it. Keep on shining, our friends up there in heaven! We hope to join you in paradise sometime.

You’re Beautiful

You’re Beautiful is a successful worship song. Its instrumentation is properly restrained, Wickham’s delivery is powerful, and the lyrics are poetic. A calming track overall, You’re Beautiful is a job well done. I have had the privilege to witness this song being performed by a church youth group and it moved everybody in the substantial crowd. Wickham got this one right.

Wow, I never thought that a song could be this majestic and bring a little tears out of my eyes. Honestly, I’m at a loss of words with how wonderful this song is. It can be played anywhere just to cheer someone up, or be sung to someone who is very ill. It may make others cry, but they will be joyful. You’re Beautiful is definitely magical.

True Love

If After Your Heart had a baby with Sailing on a Ship, True Love would be the result. Falling in between the two songs (with Sailing on a Ship at the top), True Love is a decent track. It has the signature Phil Wickham vibe to it, a satisfying blend between subtlety and boldness. Thankfully, his vocals are just as impassioned as they were at they beginning of the album. If I was to ever catch this guy live, True Love is certainly a song I would want in my set list.

If you have ever felt like you were drifting further and further away from our Lord with every passing day, then this song is for you. The lyrics make you feel like you are being pulled closer to Jesus. I feel like this song would also be perfect to be played on Easter Sunday. Never give up your faith and Jesus will always find you.

Jesus Lord of Heaven

Jesus Lord of Heaven is the first song from Cannons where the bass stands out to me. The easy bass gives the track a relaxed feeling, enhanced by the distorted guitar effects and Wickham’s appropriately restrained vocals. I dig Jesus Lord of Heaven, as it is a solid chill-out song.

From the first note of Jesus Lord of Heaven, you can easily tell it is a worship song. The lyrics are lovely and the music is calm. It is true that love is all we ever need, and Jesus will always be there to help us get through our lives. Jesus Lord of Heaven reminds us of this, and helps us to remember to pray to him every day/night/both.

Home

There must be a thousand songs titled home. Without even thinking of one in particular, I can assure you that every song I have ever heard titled “Home” has sucked…that is, until I heard Phil Wickham’s Home. Just as was the case with Jesus Lord of Heaven, this track is relaxed and calming. There is a brief violin solo within the song that was accompanied by a wild distortion effect that sounded incredibly cool. Home is a unique song that provides for a satisfying listen.

Home is another song with some awesome guitar. The music reminds me of sitting on a beach right as the sun sets. I would just be sipping on lemonade, watching the waves go by, and forgetting about life for a while. I would not forget about Jesus, and will continue to await the day I hopefully unite with him and my departed family members in the kingdom above.

Spirit Fall

A sad-sounding song, Spirit Fall is a satisfying conclusion to Cannons. Certainly a fitting finale, it ends with a bang. While a calm atmosphere dominates a majority of its duration, Spirit Fall climaxes with loud instrumentation and strong final words. The entire song feels like a collective sigh of release or goodbye wave. Spirit Fall concludes this album on a positive note.

Cannon ends with Spirit Fall, a song that can be related to how teens and young adults feel today. Lots of people are afraid to let out their love for God, but this song reminds us to never be afraid to let the world know you love God. After all, it is our job as Christians to spread the word of Jesus to others. Never give up your faith, and never be afraid to show it. We have the freedom….sort of. (This is no place for politics.) Anyway, we have the freedom to say what we want, and if people do not like it, who needs them anyway? Thank you all for reading yet another album review! Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I know that 2015 will be a great year for music, and I hope you will continue this journey with us!

My Top 3

Sailing on a Ship

You’re Beautiful

Home

Robby’s Top 3

Sailing On A Ship

You’re Beautiful

Home

I’d first like to acknowledge that this is the first time that Robby and I have had the same Top 3. Rob says it’s a Christmas miracle.

Back to Cannons. This album features some treasures along with songs of substantially lesser value. Some of the music is overdone, glazing Wickham’s individual style with the very bug that plagues much of the other Christian music made today. Nonetheless, Cannons is worth some of your time. This Porkchop, though overcooked in many spots, has a tender center that you can surely enjoy. Cut off some of the excess char and enjoy what is left of your meal.

~Juck

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One comment on “Phil Wickham Album Review: Cannons (2007)

  1. Pingback: Gamerscene: What to Expect in 2015 | GAMERSCENE.WORDPRESS.COM

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