John Mark Pantana grew up in a Christian home but didn’t have a good relationship with God. Riddled with guilt, Pantana strayed from his path until he found the light.
In college, Pantana walked away from the Christian religion and “became a pot-head; high all day everyday for two years,” said Pantana in his bio.
After he heard a podcast preacher say to him “The LORD wants to show Himself to you as Abba,” he realized that the Gospel is about love and not about following rules. At 27 years old, he began writing music. He hopes his music “would help you rest.”
Pantana already released his album Love Secrets a while ago, but recently recorded a B-Sides version of it which has a deeper sound than the original.
“Abba (B-Side),” begins with a deep sounding acoustic guitar that really stands out. Pantana sings in a breathy raspy voice, and includes harmony with the football player/singer Jonathan Ogden. Abba is the beautiful Aramaic word for father– the name God is referred to in the Bible.
The song, “I Know Just What You Need [feat.Rebekah Autumn],” is chock-full of artistic symbolism. “Every smiles’ like a poem, my lovely child, that I composed,” paints humans as symphonies composed by God. His poetic lyrics conduct a feeling of peace.
The acoustic guitar in “Day by Day” plays along soft rain singing in the background. Pantana sings with a beautiful relaxed tone while singing about the Lord being with him “day by day,” even through “wading thunder.” Pantana, a methodical artist, took his time with Day by Day, incorporating the natural song of the rain into his music.
“Rest” brings about the meaning of the album, since Pantana’s Love Secrets album puts its listeners at peace. He sings in a voice that produces chills because of how lovely it sounds, the acoustic sound of the song encourages listeners to rest. Pantana implies that people need to spend relaxed time with God because he is able to, “restore my soul.”
“Made for Jesus” is sung in a deeper voice. Pantana uses his poetic lyrics to let others know that they were made for Jesus– “I was made to walk in the cool of the day with you.” This relaxes believers of God because they remember that it’s okay if they’re struggling with school, work, etc, because they believe the point of their existence is for Jesus.
“My Heart Is Sure” is sung with an echo. It sounds like a dream, producing a feeling of rest.
“On Your Mind” is composed of many elements: a guitar, drums, piano, and Pantana’s voice. Listeners are relieved of their current stressful situations when they hear the lyrics, “I was on your mind before the world began.” The listener can be joyful when they remember that they are wanted.
“Sweeter Than Wine” is a louder song with a band. Listeners ease some of their stress by singing this at top of their lungs– singing the lyrics out loud is kind of like saying positive affirmations. “I believe you love me, I believe you care for me,” are positive lyrics capable of lifting moods.
“Diamonds As Your Skin” is full of positive lyrics that impact moods, like the song “Sweeter Than Wine.” Pantana sings, “I am loved.” These positive lyrics put listeners at ease, letting them rest.
“Meet Your Maker” is a live version on the album. Pantana’s natural voice paired with the guitar produces a feeling of peacefulness.
The artsy lyrics, beautiful instruments, and charming voice in all of the Love Secrets (B-Sides) songs do Pantana’s purpose in producing restfulness for Christians.