Music review by Luchae Williams
Bethel Music duo, Paul and Hannah McClure released their debut studio album, The Way Home in August 2019. The album marks the couple’s first studio project under the Bethel Music banner. Recorded at the Layman Drug Company Studios in Nashville, the husband and wife team sought the help of producer and long time friend, David Leonard, to add his own flavour of indie-pop to the vibrant offering.
The Way Home
The album tells a poignant story of a homecoming, with songs that are both thoughtfully written and beautifully delivered. Paul McClure explains that through The Way Home, they hope to invite listeners into their breakthrough and impart hope to keep going when the road is long.
Title track, The Way Home, explains just that.
“The song starts with, “When my road map fails,” describing the process of us trying to play catch up and stay present. I thought the road was going to be straight but it’s been going around in circles. We learned to let go of the end result and value the journey and the people we met along the way,” Paul explained, to Bethel Music.
“For us, home is not an address or place; it’s found inside—it’s an intimate place with God and an opportunity to grow in relationship with family. Our journey to identity and our songwriting process has been centered on the relationships that built us and encouraged us to move forward and grow.”
Hannah McClure’s hauntingly beautiful vocal adds to the potency of the message behind worship song Always Good. The track speaks about living a life with the knowledge that God is always and will always be good. This is the type of song that I would be playing during my quiet time with the Lord.
The fun country-pop element behind upbeat Now I See is both memorable and familiar. It definitely has a Rend Collective quality to it, with a folksy twist and easy to learn lyrics. I quite enjoyed this one.
Only Have One is such an interesting listen. With soulful-rnb-gospel lyrics, the track breaks into a catchy chorus that speaks about God being our first love and “one true love”.
Worship song, Holding On to You, is a gorgeous declaration of love and faith. The duo’s stunning vocal harmony comes through strong in the bridge that says: “Jesus you are my help when I call/I’m holding onto you/I am overcome by the way you’ve always prove/You are my, strength, my song, my victory/In every season…I’m holding on to you.”
Gone is an upbeat victory song, that speaks about the power of the blood of Jesus. The anthem’s lyric reminds the listener that all fear and shame are “Gone, gone, gone/Forever gone in the name of Love/Defeated on the cross/Forever gone in the name of Love.”
With such a rich history of serving God together, the McClures hold an element of charm and wholesomeness that make it easy to receive from them. The album has clearly been a journey, for the pair, who started serving in youth group together, penning songs that they thought were “not good enough”, at the tender age of 16. Through this album, the McClures have found a way to share their testimony of a God who is in it for the long haul and always eager to help you discover the way home.