Reviewed by Caleb Newell
Let the Road Pave Itself by Phillip Larue
"...Phillip Larue comes back to the music forefront with an organic mix and a digital twist..."
Do you remember that
great indie band called LaRue? From that brother-and-sister duo, Phillip
Larue comes back to the music forefront with
an organic mix and a digital twist that makes it hard to stop repeating the
This mix on Let the Road Pave Itself was recorded live in the studio on an old fashioned two-inch tape reel, capturing Phillip and his friends playing real life rock that concerns life’s deepest matters of love and faith. Phillip has been behind scenes trying to figure out how to come back to the forefront of music, composing songs like “Love Is Here”, “By Your Side”, “Hold My Heart”, “Satisfy”, “Hallelujah” (all by Tenth Avenue North) and Brandon Heath’s “Don’t Get Comfortable”. Let’s examine how the road paves itself.
A resounding track rocks off the album at a mid-temp pace. “Chasing the Daylight” is a declaration that even though this life has been rough, you can still go on searching for hope or God. “Home” states how someone has lost what it means to be alive as Phillip points that someone towards something more then the city streets. The next is a great love song, “Don’t be Deceived”, which states that no matter how much our physical bodies alter through life, it won’t change our love for our family. “Why” talks about God’s declaration of His existence through His creation all around us, “You’re all around me/ you’re all around/ you’re all around/ you’re all around”. Another two great love songs follows next---“All I Want” is a declaration of God’s love for us, and “Sleeping Body” is our love to someone special in our lives because God’s loved us first.
The second half of the album starts out with one of the most memorable songs. “Running So Long” is a story of all of our lives and how we’ve been running or crying so long that we don’t even remember why we were running (crying) in the first place. Even through dark moments (when we were running or crying) we were still running towards Him (God). “Erase and Rewind”, my favorite song, is a melodic piece about someone, who is having suicidal thoughts. “ . . . Goodbye/ but I don’t want to say that/ I just want to stay and/ I want to remind you/ That I still love you/ Yes I do/ But I didn’t see this coming/ No I did not/ I thought that I knew you/ I guess I was wrong/ Is this a dream/ Am I awake/ Did I just lose you today/ Tell me there’s time/ Oh tell me there’s time/ To erase and rewind.”
The next track, “Before the Sun Goes Down”, is an embodiment of the old biblical quote, “don’t let the sun go down on your transgression.” “Deeper Side of You” is saying how we go through let downs and troublesome times, but even through them we are strong and can shine with the help of Daylight (God). The song is based upon Phillip’s younger sister, Brianna, who has cerebral palsy and an inoperable brain tumor; saying how that this world will pass by and she (you) will move onto sleep, and a place were she (you) deserves to walk, to run, to fly. “Don’t keep your eyes open for me/ You fought a good fight/ Now just sleep sleep sleep/ What I would do for you/ To take the pain away/ My sister, Oh my God/ What is there left to say/ I’d run a thousand miles over sea or land/ To find a cure for you/ I don’t understand/ I don’t understand/ Will you hold my hand/ Help me understand/ But it’s time to forget.” What beautifully crafted, poetic lyrics.
"Mountains High Valleys Low” states that those are the times that make us grow—our highs and lows—but God is with us through it all, even if we change. Though it’s hard to believe in these times of our lives, we choose to still believe. Yet we still just want God to shine hope on us as we fall back to Him.
This album turned out to be the exact embodiment that Phillip was hoping for, and I can’t wait for his next CD. Phillip’s prayer for this album wasn’t that it would be successful or be the biggest hit; it was that God would let the road pave itself.