It is 2018, and that alone describes today’s culture, society, and thinking. It is a time marred by fracture, division, and confusion and it has been some time that message-oriented music has such relevance. As the effects of today’s America impacts every element of our day-to-day lives, it surely has an impact on our music. A GREAT WORK is an album that speaks right to the heart of the national conversation. Brian Courtney Wilson reflects on today’s culture of faith, on community & social injustice and our relationship with God. It is an album for the modern day church and modern-day believers.
Wilson raises the consciousness with A GREAT WORK. As a whole, it seeks to encourage our spirits, to strengthen our hearts and to restore our confidence in God and ourselves. Lyrically it contemplates the forces shaping American culture; and offers Brian’s perspective on this GREAT truth of God.
“I started to think about reinforcing confidence and value ... and how we as a community, as African-Americans and as believers, have so much worth nurturing and worth preserving,” Wilson said. “We have a culture worth building on. Delivering this message and music still maters.”
A message built upon hope, and on the biblical truths of God’s love, salvation and grace are worth treating like gold in Wilson’s telling. He treats his gift as valuably as he does the message and it’s evident on this project. Song to song there’s something beautiful and strong.
Working with a collection of top writers and producers, a veritable who’s who in music that includes V. Michael McKay, Aaron Lindsay, Warryn Campbell, Marvin Winans, and Erik Dawkins, Mano Hanes, and Shaun Martin this becomes Brian’s literal ‘Great work.'
A GREAT WORK is a profound collection of moving lyrics and a celebration of music styles that reveal Wilson at a new level of sophistication and depth in his artistry. You can hear the influences of Sam Cooke, Donny Hathaway and Luther Vandross throughout, as well as smart production choices, make A GREAT WORK unlike anything in today’s field. There is dance, funk, R&B, soul and traditional gospel throughout the 10-tracks. “One More Praise,” reminds you of the best part you’ve ever been to; while “Won’t Let Go,” is throwback soul. Another efficacious gem is “Our Father Is Kind,” that tenderly showcases Wilson’s vocals.
Kicking the project off is “You Make Me Rich,” the tempo and musicality let you know that where the album is going. It is going to be different, and it is going to be special.
“‘You Make Me Rich’ speaks to knowing that regardless of their circumstances or bank account that believing in Jesus Christ can make you rich,” said Wilson. “You can have so much joy, peace, love that you could never give it all away ... it overflows.
Most importantly for Brian, it is about leaving a legacy for his children and the future. Brian talks extensively about the idea of planting a seed that creates a legacy. “I believe that all the things happening in my life now is connected to what other people planted years ago ... not knowing what the harvest would be.” “It is about believing enough in the seed that you plant ... that no matter what your current circumstance is; or how dissatisfied you may feel now, don’t let that keep you from planting faithfully for the future,” Wilson said.
That is at the heart of the album and of the title track, “A Great Work.” Serving as equal parts mantra and instruction “A Great Work” reminds us to keep going, to keep serving, to keep fighting. God has already given us everything we need to be great. “I want people know de- spite what society may be showing and telling us; despite what we hear about ourselves ... we need to be encouraged,” Brian said.
He continued to explain his hope to “leave a legacy and anchor that [my kids] can lean on that helps them steel themselves against the type of vitriol and anger they hear in the world. But I also want people to go back to treating each other and the faith with honor ... I want to remind people to treat each other with honor, especially the way people of faith treat other people of faith. We need to acknowledge our differences without using them to diminish one an- other.”
Seeing and understanding our differences is at the core of “Heal,” a message-oriented song that pushes hope, despite the pain. Speaking to the collective need for healing and hope,“Heal” is a perfect anthem for all of us who try to find peace in a fractured world.
A GREAT WORK connects on all levels to people in different ways, but it is ultimately an album that speaks Brian Courtney Wilson’s heart so clearly and so wonderfully. “What I hope people hear and get out of this body of work is that they have something of immense value that is worth sharing and worth planting. We have to be intentional about building one another up and celebrating accomplishment and encouraging the best effort.”