Prime Cuts: Rise Up (Featuring Christa Wells, Jess Ray, Tamar Chipp, Christy Nockels, Ellie Holcomb), Impossible Things (Featuring Ginny Owens, Sarah Kroger, and Christy Nockels), Rahab's Lullaby (God Above, God Below) (Sandra McCracken, Sarah MacIntosh, Rachael Lampa)
Overall Grade: 2.75/5
FAITHFUL is a mammoth project. A joint collaboration between David C. Cook, Integrity Music, and Compassion International, FAITHFUL comprises of a book and a music album. Both instalments find various authors and artists writing and singing about the narratives of the women in the Bible. Characters such as Rahab, Ruth, Esther, Mary, the women at the tomb, and so forth are brought to live in the book and in the album. As far as the music is concerned, the project brings together the who's who of Christian music, including Amy Grant, Ginny Owens, Sandra McCracken, Leslie Jordan, Christy Nockels, Kelly Minter, Rachael Lampa, Christa Wells, Sarah Kroger, Ellie Holcomb, Savannah Locke, Tamar Chipp, Taylor Leonhardt, Jess Ray, and others.
However, big doesn't mean it is better. Despite the string of names, on the first few listens to this juggernaut of an album, there is a feeling of "sameness" that runs across the 12 tracks. All the songs are pretty safe and they all fall under the generic rubric of sanitized pop-centric worship music that is rampant across the genre. There's nothing offensive in the offering: in fact, many of the songs even are very informative. You will learn a great deal about the stories of the heroines of the Bible just by listening to these songs. The majority of the songs could even work as the soundtrack of worship for churches as well as for individuals.
The main culprit that strips the record of its excellence is laziness. Case in point being the lead single "A Woman." The song is inspired by the biblical narrative of one of the women who witnessed the resurrection of Jesus. The premise of the song is stellar, but the lyrics are so superficial that we don't feel the fear and the joy the woman is feeling at this momentous juncture of history. In fact, the song is so slobbishly written that a title as generic as "A Woman" is slapped onto the song. Maybe it's because there are too many co-writers and no one wants to be the bad gal to pinpoint an overused cliche or a lazy hook, songs such as "You Came For Me" and "For This Very Time" and the cliche overridden "We Are One" are easily forgettable.
This doesn't mean that there are only duds in the collection. "Rise Up" sums up the message of the book of Esther well with an urgent chorus calling us to cease the moment God has created us for. Ginny Owens, Sarah Kroger, and Christy Nockels are to congratulated for a powerful declaration of God's sovereignty over human affairs on "Impossible Things." "Rahab's Lullaby" is one of the few exceptions that you can actually feel what Rahab was feeling on the night she decided to step out to trust Yahweh. However, this is quite a rarity on the album. Songs such as "The Detour" and "Holy Place" have potential but they are not there yet. Maybe these artists have tight schedules that they had to finish these songs in a limited span of times. If this is the case, it's such a shame.
Tags : FAITHFUL: Go and Speak Faithful Integrity Music Various Artists “FAITHFUL: Go and Speak” Album Review Amy Grant sarah kroger ginny owens Jess Ray Taylor Leonhard sandra mccracken Ellie Holcomb Savannah Locke rachael lampa Tamar Chipp