Nathan Tasker’s “Man On a Wire”
Has Psalmist’s Heart
Nathan Tasker‘s new album tells a story, and it’s the kind of story that I am eager to hear.
Let me explain something first.
In the marketing world today, it seems — at least from my point of view — that everything is about “telling your story.” Every singer, actor, director, and writer is summing up their unique story as a part of their promotional campaigns. Churches and various inspirational speakers are all about getting Christians to know their story, their personal narrative in the grand tapestry of God’s work.
That’s all fine and well, and that might not be revelatory or even a new thing, but when you come across plumbers, grocery stores, law firms, and napkin dispenser companies also telling their story on their websites and in their products with the narrative urgency of someone sitting at a camp fire speaking in hushed tones, you know you’re looking at a marketing trend.
The problem with advertising trends is that the public, whether it realizes it or not, gets weary of those trends that eventually over-saturate their world.
And then we get cynical. That’s when the eye-rolling begins whenever a story is mentioned. It’s sad how we get cynical like that — and I try to avoid falling into that mindset — but it happens, especially with the things that bombard us in popular culture and the market place.
It’s definitely not happening, however, with Nathan Tasker’s new album Man On a Wire. It has a voice that reaches through all the noise and cynicism and pulls you into his world — not for vanity’s sake but with the heart of a pilgrim who wants to show you a path marred with suffering, but also a path that turned a bend and stumbled upon the greatest hope there is.
You feel that deeply in songs like “Sowing Tears” and “Nowhere To Be Found,” which — as far as songwriting and singing technique — remind me greatly of Tim and Neil Finn (and that is a very big compliment in my book).
His songwriting and performance style has a crisp, refreshing feel to it. The upbeat songs like “Man On a Wire,” “No Good Reason” — besides causing all toes within their general vicinity to tap — surge with hope.
The acoustic mellowness and childlike contentment of “Whole World” and “Voice I Long To Hear” softens the spirit and washes away the aforementioned cynicism we accumulate in this world; and the yearning-for-God heartbeat of “Closer,” “Rise,” and “All The While” make me want to kneel in my prayer closet and just spend an hour drawing near to God and rejoicing in His wonderful Presence.
All of it adds up to something that has the feel of the Psalmist’s heart in the Bible. As Nathan says in his press materials, it’s about a soul trying to navigate the sorrows and storms of this insane world. And while he does that, he’s like a man on a wire, doing all he can to fix his eyes straight ahead on the Solid Rock and not look to the right or left or down.
You can feel an authenticity in the songs that speak of a man who has lived what he’s singing about. When you hear about his life, you understand why: a few years ago he and his wife tragically lost their infant twins.
The album doesn’t explicitly tell Nathan’s story as a biographical book would do, but it does tell the story of a heart that has known the deepest suffering that this world can bring but has still found hope and new life in the Name Above All Names, in the voice of Jesus, the “voice I long to hear.”
And that’s a story worth hearing.
You can learn more about Nathan Tasker at his official website. You can pre-order “Man On a Wire,” which comes out November 4.