Jim Cole, Walls & Doors as reviewed in the Phantom TollboothWalls & Doors, puts the listener in a faith-enlightening mood

Walls & Doors

Artist: Jim Cole
Label: Independent
Release Date: May 16, 2011
Duration: 12 tracks, 36:59

Throughout the seasons of life a Christian’s faith has peaks and valleys. Jim Cole’s latest offering, Walls & Doors, puts the listener in a faith-enlightening mood with smooth voice, excellent guitar work and great production lifting us from those valleys and adding praise to the peaks.

To the uninitiated, do not think this is actually James Taylor doing CCM. Cole’s voice is nearly spot-on to Taylor’s. They both craft great lyrics wound around wonderful acoustic guitar in a folk / blues / light rock format. However, Cole’s musical catalogue is focused on Christian faith and the life’s we lead around this faith.

Walls & Doors kicks off with “Looking For the Day” having his signature acoustic guitar work and layered vocals. “No One's Child” is a very bluesy offering with a deep, low voice matching to a strong foundation of bass and percussion. “Save My Soul” pops and clicks offering country-rock in a fashion similar to Johnny Cash’s later offerings. This song tells of losing yourself and asking for God’s saving grace. The song rocks in melody and message.

The seemingly autobiographical “All I Ever Wanted” showcases another side of Cole’s musical style with a pop-country offering. “Fool's Gold” is a slow burning blues tune with the story of a poor choice made in building a relationship. Look for the great break to a piano’s high notes like glass breaking depicting the hard end of a relationship.

“The River and the Railroad” is a slow, romping country-pop song about life’s mistakes and God’s forgiveness with lyrics, ‘No one to blame but myself for the foolish things I’ve done’ and ‘If I could do it all over again, I’ll tell you what I’d do, I would not make the same mistakes, the mistakes would all be new, the mistakes would be brand new.’ The album’s final two songs leave the listener humbled with “A New Song (194-016)” whose lyrics ‘Sing it loud, Sing it clear, Sing it loud enough for those inside to hear’ embolden all to reach out to those in need and ‘The Last Word’, providing a final statement of praise in a short song of thanks to God for all he has done for us.

As a Christian forever facing the trials and tribulations of a life and culture often pulling us in the wrong direction,  I strongly suggest using Cole’s ‘Walls & Doors’ as a life tool to strengthen your faith walk in seasons of despair and those of strength to offer thanks.


Jim Cole will be appearing at the Cup ‘O Joy in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Friday, November 18, 2011, 2 Shows, 6:30 & 8:45pm.


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