Album Review

Anne Wilson - REBEL

Where her 2022 Contemporary Christian debut introduced listeners to her faith, Wilson's new record shows off her intricacies beyond it.

Album - Anne Wilson - REBEL
April 18, 2024 10:46 am GMT

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Anne Wilson - REBEL

Label: Capitol CMG

Producer: Jeff Pardo

Release Date: April 19, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. REBEL
2. Rain In The Rearview
3. Strong
4. God & Country
5. Praying Woman
6. Songs About Whiskey
7. Sinner’s Prayer
8. The Cross” (with Chris Tomlin)
9. My Father’s Daughter
10. Red Flag
11. Country Gold
12. Southern Gospel
13. Dirt Roads In Heaven
14. 3:16
15. Milestones
16. Out of the Bluegrass

“I’m hallelujah hands high, and friends in low places”, Anne Wilson belts out against an anthemic rhythm and triumphant strings, proudly proclaiming she was made by ‘God & Country’.

On REBEL, her sophomore release, this “washed in the water and mud on the tires” dichotomy plays out across 16 tracks and, ultimately, perfectly describes who the young musician is at this point in her burgeoning career.

Where her 2022 debut introduced listeners to her faith, her new record shows off her intricacies beyond it, revealing an artist that’s inspirational while relatable, down-to-earth but still reaching, grateful yet grappling with her newfound fame. The result is an album that’s equally complex, finding Wilson balancing being both a Contemporary Christian star and a country powerhouse.

REBEL is a truly style-spanning experience, with Wilson skillfully traversing the expansive country genre. She captures its hallmark fire in the unapologetic title track, calls on its soulful side with the Lainey Wilson-backed ‘Praying Woman’ and tips a hat to its down-home roots with the delicate ‘Dirt Roads In Heaven’. In doing so, her faith-infused songs become more widely palatable, never coming off as holier-than-thou but instead wholly herself.

It’s obvious that her talents lie beyond mere cookie-cutter worship songs, demonstrated in edgier tracks like the twanged-up teetotaler ‘Songs About Whiskey’ and the sweeping gospel of ‘Sinner’s Prayer’. However, she tends to teeter toward predictability on blander offerings like the deafeningly empty ‘3:16’ and the Chris Tomlin-assisted ‘The Cross’, a Hillsong knock-off that’s too formulaic to be rousing.

Still, at the end of the day, whether you’re a believer or not, it’s difficult to deny Wilson’s talent across the release. REBEL is an overall success, not only as an honest and uplifting album, but also as evidence that Wilson may just be on the way to perfecting the country-worship genre for the modern age.

7.5/10
Anne Wilson’s 2024 project, REBEL, is available everywhere on April 19 via Capitol CMG.

For more on Anne Wilson, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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