• Jonathan Widran

HUGH JAMES, "The Greater Good"

With the release of his socially conscious, pop, soul and gospel influenced ballad/anthem “The Greater Good,” veteran singer/songwriter caps a powerful, incredibly moving and thought provoking and inspirational trifecta in capturing the American Zeitgeist these past few years. His string of indie singles began in 2018 with “My Brother’s Shoes” (a powerful reminder about choosing loving over judging) and continued on the prayer-like “Times Like These,” a rallying cry to put our differences aside and join together to get through life’s most trying times.

Though “The Greater Good” has been released in 2022 at a point where we’re well past the worst of the pandemic, it’s one of those classic and beautifully rendered time capsule gems that captures the spirit of the moment. As an insightful, often incisive song questioning the wisdom of government imposed, harsh universal lockdowns – a dominant reality during the worst days of COVID – “The Greater Good” is a bit edgier in tone and theme than its spiritually themes predecessors.


Yet in many ways, in both the lyrics and the fascinating array of life affirming, often fun images in the video (juxtaposing James singing passionately in the studio and images of everything from folks playing beach volleyball and Santa on a sleigh to dancing clowns), James is affirming that we are at our best, most vibrant and hopeful when we are free to make our own decisions rather than succumb to the dictates of those in power who deceive themselves into believing they’re working for “The Greater Good.”

Passionately written in the heat of those contentious moments, James sings in the second verse, “I’m just looking for a little bit a hope. . .and I’m hoping we can find it before too long…” And so the pandemic has waned, the questionable restrictions on liberty are gone, and we can indeed worship as we wish and spend time with our families without restrictions on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. James’ raspy voice and his affection for soul, gospel and powerful messaging make him a great musical prophet for these times.


Listen to "The Greater Good" audio here: https://promo.theorchard.com/VNJcNHT8nX7L40fpxuVi