Presbyterian pastor Vito Aiuto and his wife, Monique, otherwise known as The Welcome Wagon, have created another album of unconventional pop songs that dive headfirst into the life of faith. The first song on Light up the Stairs has the no-nonsense title “Galatians 2:20,” and so the first words of the album are “I have been crucified with Christ.”
They continue adding to a musical survey of their faith tradition with songs like “HCQ1,” which, as you may have guessed, is the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism put to music. “Lamb of God” is a reinterpretation of the Agnus Dei, and they put a new spin on the old hymn “In the Garden.”
Other songs draw more from their personal lives. “Maybe You’re Right” is a lovely, mournful meditation on our vulnerable condition as fallen beings, while “It’s So Hard” speaks to how difficult it can be to stay in right relationship with the people we love.
The final track is a cover of Sufjan Stevens’ “The Greatest Gift,” an acoustic ode to Christ-like love.
The Welcome Wagon always brings something different to the table, a new way of hearing old words or a slightly eccentric way of expressing the everyday hardships and joys of life. They’ve added some synth sounds to a few of their songs this time around, a change from past music, but that doesn’t detract from their work. The overall listening experience is just as fulfilling as that of the any of their albums. Take time to listen to these words from their hearts. (Tooth and Nail Records)
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