In an age where a laptop and autotune are all that is needed to qualify one a musician, Jeff Anderson lets true musicianship ring through on his latest album A Thousand Tongues. Combining the natural sounds of acoustic guitar, dobro, cello, banjo, violin, and natural percussion with a clear vocal passion that is so often lost or overlooked, Jeff unapologetically raises the current music making bar. With a sound reminiscent of Todd Agnew or Casting Crowns, climatic and passionate vocals accompanied by a solid flowing orchestra of sound best describes Anderson’s music, making it a must for the worship enthusiasts music library.
Glory To God starts off the album with instant beats and faint flowing vocals. All cut out leaving only violin and whispered vocals to tell an intricate lyrical story. Drums add as vocals build up to the chorus. Synth highlights the chorus giving it an abstract feel, while the drums hold definition. It ends as instrumentals fade and stop abruptly with an immediately loud quiet placed strategically to bring in ‘There Is A Light (His Name Is Jesus)’.
We hear ‘His Name is Jesus’ repetitively common to worship music. It begins with hushed long tones holding through vocals with occasional defining keys that build toward the middle of the song. The second half progressively weaves back and forth between keyboard, and guitars as all instruments build getting louder and more forceful then suddenly cut back all at once leaving only hushed keyboard, and vocals. It fades to an end like a heavy sigh after the tension.
Title Track 3, takes a joyful break from the passionate intensity of the first two. It begins with light repetitive guitars and echo-like vocals, all at once transitioning to very quiet guitars and immediate highlighted vocals. Halfway through guitar plucks some water-rippling strategic high-pitched notes followed by pointed vocals. Then instruments and vocals join in full force to the end mounting upon the word ‘Grace’. Suddenly, drums and guitars cut out, leaving only a faint ringing note as hushed vocals end the song.
The album ends with acoustic guitar providing melody and rhythm as quiet vocals tell a story. Violin enters surrounding vocals with warmth. Dramatic crescendos and decrescendos make ‘Your Love Never Fails Me’ a very moving and solid closing to the album.
Emphasis resides on the vocals throughout; lyrical value is not lost on the singability of the album. Instruments fall into place and seem to dance around vocals in a superbly exquisite combination of hard and soft rock. His gravel-esque voice at the top of the most passionate notes adds to the sense of worship exuded by A Thousand Tongues.