On The Wait: Silence the Noise, David Leonard has somehow managed to elevate the songs he so masterfully crafted on the first iteration of the album—and his first solo project—The Wait, which released earlier in 2019.
This new, stripped-down version propels David’s vocal to the forefront in a manner that is arresting as it is compelling. Perhaps the true magic of this stunning project is that the lyrical content and song structure converge at the place we hit our knees.
The record is a journey—one that reflects the dark, painful season of infertility through which he and his wife traveled. The weight of those losses is evident in refreshingly candid lyrics, such as: “I am a prodigal / I can make it on my own / I am a runaway / I would rather be alone.”
“By My Side” picks up the pace a bit weaving an oft-forgotten truth throughout—the darkness doesn’t have to disappear for God to show up. “In the shadow, You’re by my side.”
“Signs of Life” is a masterclass in creative live performance. Dreamy yet driving. The vocal delivery of the first lines is gripping.
“All I ever wanted was somebody to tell me it’s ok /I’m in my head /I’m in my heart /it’s such a desolate place / Walking on the surface of the moon/ I feel so far away.” The desperation is palpable, making the pay-off in the chorus exponentially sweeter: “Looking for signs of life / And I found it in you.”
“Silence the noise with Your voice” from “Know Your Heart” is a unique plea, whereas the temptation is to ask God to remove the noise, the chaos, the darkness. Leonard does it differently. He asks that nothing be taken away, rather that God would join him here and now, amid the mess.
“Distant God” is a bold confession of faith and belief that God is not only present but good. Each track is deserving of a deep dive—from theological content to song structure, production, and delivery. Some have suggested that David walked away from corporate worship when All Sons & Daughters ended their tenure. That couldn’t be further from the truth. These songs convey the vulnerability and authenticity of pure, honest worship. “I Will Wait,” with a choir in the background, is as appropriate a church worship song as any.
The standout on the album lyrically and musically is “Threads.” It is a true piece of art. The delicate piano intro surrounds a confession: “I’m tired of trying to keep it all together.” With elegant restraint, David’s voice is tinged with a weariness that gradually diminishes as he makes his way to the epicenter of the song. “I’m gonna let you pull the threads ’til my heart unravels into you.”
The album concludes with “The Little That I Know.” David’s vocal soars; the gratitude and humility are palpable. It’s the kind of song that can be sung or heard over and over again when one needs to speak truth into doubt or faith into fear.
The Wait: Silence the Noise is a triumph on its own. But there’s more. David didn’t stop at the music. He created music videos that have been woven together into a full-length feature film of the entire project.
It’s a worthy, rare, and exceptional creative offering that will surely stand the test of time.
Read Losing My Religion by Chap Clark.
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