While country music has produced some memorable songs of spirituality (Think Donna Fargo’s “You Can’t Be a Beacon”), many modern attempts tend to fall flat. The sentiment and sincerity is usually there, but the delivery can sometimes end up either too heavy-handed, or ridden with clichés.
Guy Penrod is obviously no stranger to songs of spirituality, as he’s been performing them for well over fifteen years. He performed gospel songs with the Gaither Vocal Band from 1994 to 2008, and has focused his efforts on Christian country music in the years since. To his credit, his single “Pray About Everything” smartly avoids the trap of being too heavy-handed as it extols the power of prayer. The song has a pleasantly light and upbeat tempo that makes it sound uplifting instead of saccharine. The mood is accentuated by an acoustic arrangement with trills of steel guitar. Penrod’s performance, likewise, is invested and energetic.
The only problem is that the song could use a stronger hook than “Don’t worry ‘bout nothin’/ Pray about everything.” The title hook is the one part of a song that we remember the most, so in this case it would be preferable to take away something more profound from this song than just “Don’t worry ‘bout nothin’/ Pray about everything.”
Fortunately, that minor weakness isn’t nearly enough to kill the song’s spirit. “Pray About Everything” still carries a positive message about the importance of not being unduly anxious over things one can’t control, urging us to “Let it go, see what tomorrow brings.” “Pray About Everything” might not be a particularly groundbreaking song, but it is a respectable attempt at delivering a relevant message with appreciable sincerity.
Ben Foster is a contributing writer to Roughstock and can also be found at his own country music blog The 1-to-10 Country Review.