Anne Wilson: ‘REBEL’ – Album Review

Anne Wilson’s brand new album, REBEL is out now, April 19th on all streaming platforms. Check out our full review and listen to the brand new music below.

Anne Wilson is a rebel, but not in the traditional sense. While country music tends to walk the line between faith and outlaw living, Wilson has her feet firmly planted in her faith. In fact, her debut album was 2022’s Christian mega-hit, My Jesus. However, with Christian and country often going hand-in-hand, she’s committed to both on her debut country project, Rebel, out now.

 “I am who I am — I’m Anne Wilson. I love God and that’s my everything, but I love Country music, too, and I can have a beautiful mix of both,” She says of the album that magically combines both.”I ’ve been working so hard over the past 15 months to write these songs, record them and get them into the world! I was raised on two things: the love of God and the love of all things Country. That’s what fuels the music I make and that’s what you’ll hear more of on Rebel.”

The Kentucky-native co-wrote all of the album’s 16 songs, collaborating with some of Music Row’s biggest names, including Nicolle Galyon, Emily Weisband, Jaren Johnston, Lainey Wilson, Trannie Anderson, and more. Christian superstar Matthew West also helped Wilson craft much of the album, co-writing 13 of the 16 songs with her.

Produced by Jeff Pardo and Jonathan Smith, Rebel is a beautiful work that shows a singer who is clearly in love with both her music and her God. The 22-year-old is not afraid to be herself, and if that makes her a “rebel” in the eyes of the world, than that’s just fine by her.

The album opens with the title track, perfectly weaving together the UMG artist’s Christian roots with a modern country sound. In some ways, it’s similar to something Gabby Barrett or Carrie Underwood might release, etched with genuine conviction. The twangy and bluesy stomp immediately sets the stage for what’s to come, lyrically revealing just who Wilson is over a twangy and bluesy revival stomp.

“Who talks to a man that they can’t see? // Who finds power in an old book they read? // In a world full of doubt, who still believes? // Who talks to a man that they can’t see? // Call me crazy, call me a fool I ain’t scared ’cause I know the truth // Ain’t gonna run, ain’t gonna hide // Ain’t gonna change my mind”

“I remember thinking ‘If being a follower of Jesus makes me a rebel, because Jesus was a rebel,’ I’m gonna stand up for my faith,” She says. “In that moment, it all kind of clicked. I wrote the song, then the whole viewpoint of the record came into focus. We had that title on a white board, and every song we wrote after came from that question: what does it mean to be a rebel?”   

Like the title track, “God & Country” is an immediate standout that shows exactly who Anne Wilson is, as both a person and an artist. It’s a catchy and earwormy piece of pop-tinted country that is equal parts catchy and poignant. “I wanted to write a song that explains who I am as an artist. I was writing with Matthew, Jeff, and Trannie Anderson, and we talked about what the message was and how to put all the pieces of me in it.” 

“I’m hallelujah hands high and friends in low places // Red, white, and blue and red letter pages // Back row pew and front seat Ford // New King James and old King George // I’m washed in the water and mud on the tires // I’m Friday night lights and Sunday morning choir // I’m prayers up to heaven, roots down in Kentucky // Made by God and country”

Much of the album revolves around the theme of finding strength in the Lord, as evident on songs like “Strong,” “The Cross,” “Sinners Prayer,” and “Rain in the Rearview.” The latter has her questioning how much a heart can “take before it breaks,” starting as a ballad before building triumphantly. Meanwhile, “Strong” finds her overcoming tough times by hitting her knees. “The world’s gonna try to break me,” she acknowledges, “But I know the one who makes me strong.”

The album also includes some star-studded moments including Christian superstar Chris Tomlin on “The Cross”, and country’s own Jordan Davis and Lainey Wilson. Davis and Wilson trade verses on “Country Gold,” which finds them celebrating the simple things that are important and how great it is to strike country gold. Meanwhile, Wilson (Lainey) joins Wilson (Anne) on “Praying Woman,” the incredible women trading verses about faith and the power of a devoted woman.  “When she whispers ‘Dear Jesus,’ Heaven can hear it, and the devil gets back to Hell running, that’s the power of a praying woman,” they sing, backed by a female choir that helps build the song to an ethereal level.

While the album is incredibly deep and powerful, there are also moments of fun and levity, including the guide to choosing a man, “Red Flag” and the standout and twang-laden “Songs About Whiskey,” which finds her examining her place in country music.

“I’ve heard songs about Jack Daniels // Songs about Jim Beam // Heard songs about one night regrets, neon and nicotine // I guess I’m just kind of fixed on, the only thing that’s ever fixed me // That’s why I sing songs about Jesus, instead of singing songs about Whiskey.”

“Southern Gospel” is a full on call and response revival, while “My Father’s Daughter” is a beautiful love letter to her dad and the man he is. “Dirt Roads in Heaven” finds her pondering the afterlife, while “316” shares her conviction over the Bible verse, John 3:16.

The album ends with the solid one-two punch of “Milestones” and “Out of the Bluegrass.” While the latter is a fiddle and steel ode to her home state, the former is a moment of vulnerability as Wilson wonders what she’s missing out on for her career. “This four wheel spinning dream I’m living, got me feeling like I’m skipping milestones,” she sings, powerful voice laced with emotion.

“There was a moment when I wondered if I was too country for Christian music and maybe too Christian for country music,” Wilson reveals. “I felt a little afraid that I didn’t fit in any box. But then it kind of fired me up because that’s the point! I don’t want to fit into any box. I want to be uniquely who God made me to be and I’ve got to stand up for what I believe and the kind of music I believe in,” Wilson shares with the same conviction that laces her music. “I don’t want to change who I am to fit in. Not in the music industry, and not in this world.” 

REBEL Tracklist

  1. REBEL
  2. Rain In The Rearview
  3. Strong
  4. God & Country
  5. Praying Woman ft. Lainey Wilson
  6. Song About Whiskey
  7. Sinner’s Prayer
  8. The Cross ft. Chris Tomlin
  9. My Father’s Daughter
  10. Red Flag
  11. Country Gold ft. Jordan Davis
  12. Southern Gospel
  13. Dirt Roads In Heaven
  14. 3:16
  15. Milestones
  16. Out Of The Bluegrass

Country Swag Picks:

  1. God & Country
  2. Praying Woman with Lainey Wilson
  3. Songs About Whiskey
  4. Rebel

Anne Wilson shares her new album, ‘REBEL,’ out now on all streaming platforms.

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REBEL is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.