The title tune – and radio single - “One Day Closer” was written by Jeff Bates and Jason Matthews and it finds Jeff singing about all the questions he wants to ask God when he reaches the afterlife. It’s a song that takes an approach about life moving him one day closer to knowing the answers to his questions. Two classic Gospel tunes are given contemporary and soulful takes by Jeff and they are “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Life’s Railway To Heaven.” As good as the original songs are on this record; these tunes are by far the highlights of the album, particularly “Life’s Railway….” It’s a smoldering and bluesy tune that suits Jeff Bates like a glove. He also proclaims it to be his dearly departed mother’s favorite gospel tune. The album closes out with “If You Could See Me Now,” a song that hit me in the gut. While I don’t personally have children yet, my sister lost a child years ago and “If You Could See Me Now” is a song from the prospective from that baby up in heaven. It’s a comforting song and one that will likely help many parents ‘move on’ the best they possibly can.
With just six tunes songs, Jeff Bates has made the album of his career. It’s the kind of intimate album that artists work their whole career for. And while he’s likely to return to more secular tunes with his subsequent releases, this album shows just what kind of strong gospel songs can be made and ones that aren’t a dime a dozen, just like Jeff Bates is no dime a dozen vocalist.
Listen: "One Day Closer"