Reviewed by Casey Kellogg
In one line from an upcoming song, musician Ben Ford sings, “Just like you, I long to hear good songs but the kind that would rather tell a truth.”
On his first full-length album, “The Longing,” Ford holds true to these words as his lyrics delve past surface religion and into the heart and soul of the listener. Each song is a blend of strings, percussion and Ford’s voice as he confronts the truth of a broken world. From racism to religious hypocrisy, he exposes sin for what it truly is. “I have seen this life as a vapor,” he sings to a gently pulsing beat, “and death makes a terrible friend.”
Through lines like these, Ford confronts the reality of a life without Christ through his own experiences. His lyrics become a personal testimony as he pours his own pain and imperfections into every word. By referencing his past mistakes in songs like “The Enemy” and “I Never Knew,” he reminds us of our own flawed human nature and that a life without God can never sustain itself.
However, this album doesn’t seek to condemn but to encourage. His song “His Mercy Will Come” describes the redemptive power of Christ’s love in the wake of a broken life. Through lines like “There’s an anchor in Jesus / There’s a trusting hand,” he points us further toward an ever faithful God who chooses us even when we do not choose him.
Ford’s album is ultimately successful because, like an open door, he ushers us into his own heart. He shows a world of strangers the dark corners and the broken pieces of the man he once was — a man who was transformed through the power of Christ.
“The Longing” will be released April 19 on iTunes and Spotify.
Casey Kellogg is an intern at Mississippi Christian Living and a sophomore at Mississippi College, where she is studying English writing with a minor in literature. She hails from Nesbit and enjoys listening to musicals and spending time with her cat, Wishes