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Jonny Lang’s Overtly Christian Album “Turn Around”8 min read

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Last year, after seeing Jonny Lang on his last tour, I commented that he seemed very Christian in his comments and encore songs.  His latest album, Turn Around, removes all doubt.  Now on his 5th album, he has more creative control, and the Christian influence is overt. 

From co-writing My Love Remains with Steven Curtis Chapman, to a duet with Michael McDonald (Thankful), at least half of the songs are overtly Christian in content.  Unfortunately, I don’t think this album, which seems even more experimental than his last, really stands up that well.  The overt Christian material can seem trite at times, and I miss his solid blues guitar and vocals that are so powerful on his early albums. 

However, I initially disliked his last album, Long Time Coming, but now, some of the songs on that CD, like Red Light, The One I Got, and If We Try are now firmly ingrained in my soul through repeated enjoyment.  Perhaps the standouts on this CD, One Person at a Time, Thankful, Only a Man, and On My Feet Again, may find a permanent place in my rotation. 

Here’s some lyrics to show you what I mean by "overtly Christian" – you can also read an interview and some reviews of the CD.

THANKFUL (w/ Michael McDonald)

Man, I used to think I didn’t have a lot
Now I realize just how much Ive got (yeah You’ve blessed me, Lord)
Now every day I’m gonna take the time and stop to be

Thankful, thankful
I’ve gotta take the time to say, that I’m
Thankful, thankful
For every single breath that I take
Ive gotta be thankful, thankful

Any one of these so easily could have been me
But if it had not been for grace and mercy who knows where I’d be […]


I used to live my life in fear
Was worried all the time
From waking up to laying down
I had no peace of mind

The world became a darkened place
A struggle without end
Although bitter times those were
The days that I began to understand
I was only a man

I grew up singing songs in church
With questions in my mind
And turned my back and ran away
From God who gave me life

Then one night His presence fell
I wept and shook and then
I fell down and cried, Dear Jesus
Rescue me again, I understand
I am only a man

And He said
What will it be now?
Will you choose Me
Or keep swimming upstream now?

I’ve been inside your head
hearing you scream out
Well here I am and take my hand
I’ll take out
All of the pain, and all of the fear (all of the fear)

I’ll give you my burdens (I’ll give you peace)
All of my desires (I’ll give you what you need)
And what about these chains, o Lord (I’ll set you free)
But they’re so heavy (Lay them at My feet)
I’ll lay them at your feet

Just promise you won’t leave (I’ll never leave)
So where do I go from here, Lord (Just follow Me, just follow Me)
I’ll follow You wherever You lead, wherever You lead
Wherever You lead.


Put on that smile
It’s time to face another day
Tell everybody everything’s OK
How much longer can you play this game
Tell me how much more can you take?

I see the broken heart you try so hard to hide
I see the tears you hold back in your eyes
I sent this song that you might realize
You’re’ not alone and I’ll be there

Like the sun that continues to shine
Just beyond all the clouds in the sky
And if ever I seem to be so far away
Remember, My love remains

I see the fear and doubt that paralyzes you
Could live on dreams but you never follow through
Open the door, I"ll come in if you want me to
You’re never alone, and I’ll be there


Before there were mountains, seas, or any stars above
You were loved
Know that when all of these cease to be
What will remain is you and Me

You’re not alone, and I’ll be there

Like the sun that continues to shine
Just beyond all the clouds in the sky
And when trouble comes into your life
Even your best friends leave your side
And you can’t find the strength to fight
Well, please keep this one thing in mind

Whenever it feels like I’m so far away, remember
My love remains
Whenever you need Me, just call My name
Remember, My love remains

THAT GREAT DAY (slow folk acoustic w/ mandolin)

We’ll meet at the river
We’ll be delivered of every chain
Down into the water, children
Mothers and fathers, in His sweet name

To drown all of our sins
And come up again, forever changed
Never to return, to the people we were
For that Great Day

We’ll patiently wait
Till we see His face

And when He appears
To wipe all our tears, forever away
Then we’ll be together, in Heaven forever
On that Great Day (On that Great Day)

IT’S NOT OVER (blues gospel)

It’s not over (2x)
There’s still time

Standin’ on the edge of a bridge
A step away from ending it all
all the while you are wondering
Does anyone love me at all?

Listenin’ to all the wrong voices
Got you feeling broken and worthless
Well I just thought you should know this
Until you fulfill your purpose


This one’s for the prostitute
The drug abused, homeless and destitute
And anybody wanting to be rescued
There’s still time

This is for the orphan who is all alone
All he wants is to have a home
Your earthly father may have left you
But your heavenly Father told me to tell you


Someone loves you
Someone hears you
Someone feels you
Someone can heal you
Someone wants to see you through


Please don’t give up
It’s not over
No matter what you’re going through
No matter where you are today
I’m here to tell you
There was a time in my life I thought it was over
But I found out that He still loves me
No matter what I’ve done, He still cares
Start up again, start up again, start up again

ON MY FEET AGAIN (gospel blues)

Heart is heavy, my soul is thirsty, body’s aching
I am desperately in need of restoration
And I am ready, for You to take me higher, yeah
The only thing that I can do is, keep on praying

Cause on my own I just cant get it right
It doesn’t matter how hard I try
But with You I become a much stronger man
Getting on my knees gets me back on my feet again

Load is heavy, too much accumulation
These possessions that I have amount to nothing at all
And I am willing to hand over every one of them
Cause they won’t profit me, anything in the end


Never again will I wander without You
Alone in the wilderness
Never again will I offer to You
Less than my very best (O Jesus)
Never again, never again,
Now that I understand


There you have it.  I don’t listen to much Christians music, because much of it is sloganeering and pablum.  I like worship music, but for "ministry" music, there are few who really get to me, in part because I am not the target of most of the contemporary music (I’m 42 now).  But for Christians who want to hear some passionate music, you should check out Jonny Lang’s CD’s – work backwards from this one, you won’t be disappointed.  And be sure to catch him on tour. 

One of the cool features at Ticketmaster is it can notify you when specific artists are coming to your area.  Here’s Jonny’s page.