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Austin French’s single “Freedom Hymn” made a splash when it hit number 8 on Billboard Hot Christian Songs and caused eager anticipation for his debut album Wide Open. The 24-year-old from Georgia did not disappoint.

French’s lyrics are honest, vulnerable, and relatable. The touching song “Why God” is a tribute to the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting victims and asks questions about death and other difficult life events.

The chorus of the beautiful ballad “I Need a Hallelujah” cries out “I need to lift my hands/To where my help comes from/Hear my heart sing again/I need a hallelujah/Hallelujah, hallelujah.” French’s voice is inviting, and the music is a careful balance of energy and solemnity. Wide Open is full of promise for his Christian music career. (Fair Trade)

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