My NPR station has a clever trick to prove their value when they need donations. They remind you of “Driveway Moments.” You know — when you park your car and finish listening to the story glued to your seat.
I had a driveway moment a few months ago. Instead of radio news, it was Andrew Peterson’s Light for the Lost Boy album, and I couldn’t move. I was lost in the final song, sunk in the seat, powerless, silent, and still. I felt heavy. I felt thankful.
The song, “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone,” is an indulgent, 10-minute masterpiece and as good of a Thanksgiving song as any. It’s a deep, brooding treatise on grandeur and gratefulness that simultaneously closes the album and artfully starts its cycle again. The 10 minutes pass like time spent watching a starry night’s sky, especially if you enjoy anything by Mr. Gabriel.
Here’s the capstone:
When the world is new again
And the children of the King
Are ancient in their youth again
Well, maybe it’s a better thing
To be more than merely innocent ,
But to be broken, and then redeemed by love.
Maybe this old world is bent,
But it’s waking up,
And I’m waking up.
The song is easily the high point of the record, which is Andrew’s ninth and arguably his best. Terrific reviews appeared everywhere within days of its release that I won’t attempt to duplicate. Reviewers detailed the new tag-teaming producer duo, highlighted allusions to Andrew’s influences and his previous work, and emphasized the fine songwriting. Speaking of the final track, one reviewer said it best: “Light for the Lost Boy earns this ending.”
Full-Disclosure: We are Fans
I believe Andrew is one of the most perceptive, captivating songwriters of our time. His mission to “tell the truth in the most beautiful way I know how” is refreshing and genuine, a trait that inevitably draws comparisons to the late Rich Mullins. I can’t tell you how excited I was to hear, finally, musical energy on Lost Boy matching the intellectual horsepower Andrew has brought for more than a decade. He records and tours with Ben Shive (holy piano-heart-strings, Batman) and Andy Gullahorn (the Chuck Norris of songwriting), creating a formidable trio known as The Captains Courageous. (Look for ’em.)
If you haven’t heard the song (or the phenomenal album), take a minute to add it to your collection. I dare you to listen to “Don’t You Want to Thank Someone” one evening without distraction. Maybe even in your car. You’ll know what to do next.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.