Prime Cuts: Patient Kingdom, Into the Herbor, Lay My Worry Down
Overall Grade: 5/5
Sandra McCracken is a national treasure that is yet to be discovered. For the unacquainted, McCracken has been crafting and recording hymn-like worship tunes that mines the theological depths of the Christian faith. With Integrity Music backing her this time around, "Patient Kingdom" will hopefully launch her music to an even wider audience. Ever since the beginning of the year, McCracken has been dropping song after song to whet our aptitude. Each song that she released all charter on the same lofty standard of catchy melodies and theologically-rich lyrics. Finally, after a 10-month wait, we get the titularly appropriate "Patient Kingdom."
The album, which features 9 new songs, all co-written or written by McCracken, and a newly reimagine hymn ("Be Still My Soul"), is worth the wait. Those who like the more rootsy side of McCracken will adore "Lay My Worry Down." With a folky disposition, soft acoustic underpinnings, and McCracken's Emmylou Harris-esque vocals, the song is a gentle nudge for us to preserve in our trust in Jesus. Adorned with a wistful throwback country-like ambience is the newly constructed hymn "Thirst No More." Those looking for congregational entries will love the ultra catchy "I Will Sing" and the thoughtful "I Am One."
The title cut "Patient Kingdom" deserves a pause for thought. While many worship songs demand God to work on our behalf, McCracken beckons us to pray that our wills be bent towards God's and our timing subjected to his. With great poetic beauty she sings: "As the trees and hummingbirds lead the chorus/They work so hard, and their center/so still/Is it time for a change in direction?/Slow me down where I bend to Your will.
"Into the Harbor" is a gorgeous invitation to spend time with Jesus as we witness him calming the waves with his voice. Such a retreat becomes so endearing and so sweet that it beckons us to abide with him forever. "You Are With Me" triumphs on taking such a truth and pecking it on a melodic line that is engaging. The album closes with the hymn "Be Still My Soul." Here McCracken takes a minimalistic approach allowing her striking voice to take centre-stage. "Patient Kingdom" is a stellar worship album from start to finish. Hopefully with Integrity Music's backing, many of these songs will make it to the playlists of people and the worship set lists of churches.