Artist: Jonny Diaz
Album: Everything is Changing
Release Date: September 18, 2015
Label: Centricity Music
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the vicissitudes of life and you’re wondering where is the God who promised to “order your steps” and “work out everything for your good” and to give you “the oil of gladness for your pain”, then Jonny Diaz, Christian pop singer and songwriter, has recorded this album Everything is Changing just for you.
When life gets complicated or overwhelming, simplicity is the remedy. That’s what Jonny Diaz seems to have done in this album. And if simplicity is elegance, then Diaz achieves this too in his unfussy musical arrangements and deep introspective lyrical ballads. As the title suggests, the album is about the changes in Diaz’s life—the birth of his first child, Charlie Grace, the opening of his wife’s fitness studio in Nashville while he was on a 40-city tour, and co-writing for his new record. For Diaz the changes are overwhelming. He struggles to balance being a new father, provider, husband, singer, and songwriter. Diaz and his co-writers manage to take what is deeply personal and make it universal. Each song gives us something that we can relate to within ourselves.
Am I good enough or am I enough? This is the soul-searching question that opens Diaz’s album in his song “Enough in You”. It’s really God posing the question to us, and in a powerful upbeat chorus Diaz roars the affirmation that “Through the thunder and lightning/You hold me close/You have always been enough/So I can say that I’m enough.” Throughout the changes in our lives, God has shown “time and time again” that He is faithful to us.
The next song “Breathe” continues this upbeat tempo, reflecting the theme of life quickly changing. However, the need to slow down and breathe in God is mirrored in its chorus: “The Peace of God that overcome/ Just breathe/Let your weary spirit rest/ Lay down what’s good and find what’s best/ Just breathe.” This song certainly has a Mary-and-Martha feel to it.
But let’s not get too relaxed because the next song “Joy” has the potential to get us on our feet and dancing. It’s a fun song to exercise and work up a sweat to: “I got joy down in my soul/ I’m gonna take it everywhere I go.”
Each of Diaz’s songs is quite versatile in their lyrics and musical arrangement. However, it is his ‘see-through’ lyrics which have the strongest appeal in this album. He offers a transparency and vulnerability that connect us as human beings. We see not just Diaz’s pathos but our flawed humanity and weakness against the backdrop of God’s grace and strength:
Hurting is a chance to find you as a healer
Lonely is a chance to fall into your love
Broken is a chance to know you as a redeemer
Empty is a chance to find that you’re enough
I’m learning every hard time that’s in store
Is just another chance-A chance to know you more
Everything is Changing is a beautiful album with a timeless theme. I have to say my favorite two songs are “Breathe” and “Joy”—a nice exchange between peace and joy. So feeling tired, worn out? Take a break, listen, “breathe”, and find the “joy down in your soul”. By the end of the album you’d be singing at the top of your voice with Diaz that God is “Enough” because you can see now where He has kept every promise He has made to you.