I’m pretty emotional, so I was always looking for something that would evoke some strong feeling—whether loneliness, sadness, joy or peace. A great song could transport me, and as a teen I fell in love with songwriting because I was fascinated by the possibility of composing something that might move someone else. It wasn’t until later that I heard Rich Mullins’s music and I understood that there was something more important than just emotion—there was truth, and poetry, and longing. A song can help you to feel loved, less alone, more awake. What other art can change your life in four minutes?
After All These Years: A Collection
For more than twenty years now, Andrew Peterson has been about the business of quietly changing lives in four-minute increments. In the city of Nashville where music is an industry in the same way fast food, generic greeting cards, and bumper stickers are industries, Peterson has forged his own path, refusing the artistic compromises that so often come with chasing album sales and radio singles and creating instead a long line of songs that ache with sorrow, joy and integrity, and that are, at the end of the day, part of a real, ongoing, human conversation.
The Centricity Music release of Peterson’s twenty-song retrospective, After All These Years: A Collection, brings into focus the ongoing legacy of an artist who has never tried to imitate the last big thing or to create the next big thing. The collection shows that Andrew Peterson has all along been playing a longer game for bigger stakes. His theology of artmaking has always been one that focuses on long-term faithfulness to gifts and calling, rather than on an immediate concern for the appearance of success—but the ironic result of that approach is an emerging body of songs that will likely still be relevant and appreciated in a hundred years.
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