Written by Jessi Alexander, Jon Randall, and Blake Shelton
On his newest album, If I’m Honest, Blake Shelton diverts from the album’s generally synthesized sound to take a breather for a lovely gospel gem, which he wrote with Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall.
With prominent vocal support from Alexander and Randall more subtly in the background, along with a pleasant orchestral country arrangement (There’s a steel guitar!), “Savior’s Shadow” is a reverent hymn that celebrates the guiding support and protective presence of Jesus in Shelton’s tumultuous life: “Though the devil tried to break me,/ My sweet Jesus won’t forsake me./ When I’m in my savior’s shadow,/ I’m where I’m supposed to be.”
“Savior’s Shadow” is a sweet country gospel song that sounds as reverent as a legitimate gospel hymn. It’s sincere and the best song that Shelton has recorded in a decade, not to mention that it’s even perhaps one of the best songs of 2016.
Unfortunately, it has been promoted to Contemporary Christian radio rather than being trusted to be an official single for country radio. A song like this, however, is why it’s always wise to check out a Blake Shelton album, because there is always at least one diamond in the rough.
Ask for more single reviews and ye shall receive. Thanks Leeann.
My take on this isn’t as favorable as yours, in that I have two main points of criticism about this……………but I definitely regard this as one of the three strongest tracks off of “If I’m Honest” (“Friends” and the re-released “Green” being the other two).
The production is admittedly a bit too pedestrian and vanilla to my tastes. The plucking acoustic rhythm is quite pleasant and some gentle strings provide a signalling cathartic pull, but I feel the track would have benefited from a touch of pedal steel of dobro to more effectively convey a sense of longing or wistfulness that only sinews his resolve to stay ensconced in His shadow (I had pretty much the same critique on Hillary Scott & the Scott Family’s “Thy Will”).
Which leads to my second piece of criticism: it feels a bit underwritten.
The reason I prefer “Thy Will” to this is that, in spite of its own identical production shortcomings, the lyrics do a better job conveying the pain and darkness Hillary had to confront in the verses to eventually and triumphantly see the light and find comfort in His presence. Here, we may get indicators of rain and thunder testing him and the devil trying to break him, but as early as the opening couplet we already know He is watching over him so there’s not as much of an emotional payoff. And it does kind of feel like this track is hurried just a bit, in result.
That said, it’s still certainly respectable lyrically as a whole, and Shelton provides one of his strongest vocal performances in all recent memory. You can tell this is coming from a personal, intimate space and makes for the most sincere, honest moment on “If I’m Honest”.
I’m thinking a B for this.
I definitely see your point, but I think of this as a more universal song, like a hymn, rather than a song that needs more details. With that context in mind, it would be over-written if he added personal details to it.
I also hear enough steel to satisfy me.
Good job Leeann. Nice to hear something decent from Blake. Saw Alexander and Randall last summer at the BB.