Steffany Gretzinger “The Undoing” Album Review

Steffany Gretzinger

Prime Cuts: Morning Song, Getting There, Opening Up Let the Light In

"The Undoing" is a worship album, but it's a worship album with a difference.  Often when we think of worship records, we think of the live recordings where an army of singers sing on a stage of an arena-sized stadium pinwheeled to the frenzied din of cascading drum and thundering guitars.  But this is not the case with Gretzinger's new record.  This is worship music for the times "in-betweens:" this is the disc you would want to play in between Sundays.  It's the type of music you would want to play early in the morning when the tepid sun nibbles upon your face as you open up the Bible waiting to hear a word from the Lord.  Thus, this album is not for the masses; it's for the naked soul that longs to be intimate with the Savior. 

And indeed it is in the spirit of such intimacy that these 11 songs were originally crafted.  As Gretzinger herself would confess, these songs were birthed out of Gretzinger's own spontaneous worship, personal prayers, and her interactions with her friends.  Many of them were reared during her first year of marriage where she not only had to move away to a new city, she also struggled in accommodate to her new environment and her new friends.  Gretzinger, on the other hand, is no novice when it comes to worship music.  She is one of the worship leaders of Bethel Music where she can be heard singing lead on a handful of songs ("We Danced," "Be Still," "Closer" & "You Know Me") for this dynamic Redding, California worship team. 

In our mad rush to start our day, Gretzinger reminds us through "Morning Song" how often we have often forfeited God's intimate embrace.  Narrated through the vantage point of God, "Out of Hiding (Father's Song)" is heart-churning stuff as Gretzinger reminds us how many hoops God had to jump through in order to secure our redemption.  Be careful as this song that not only will irritate our tear ducts, but it is the type of song that will salvage our destiny.   The twitching sounds of the nylon strings of the acoustic guitar coupled by Gretzinger's breathy vocals on "Constant One"  firmly places her in the same acoustic-based singer-songwriter league of Sara Groves and Nicole Nordeman. 

In accord with many of Bethel Music's recent albums, there are a couple of "spontaneous worship songs.  Often such songs are more like musical interludes than paeans of any seminal substance.  But here "Open Up Let the Light In" is an exceptional.  Though the song is essentially structured around the repetition of the song's titular, the soaring strings cum piano does arpeggios around the tune that is just breathtaking. In an album that is very ballad heavy those who like a driving beat have to wait until the eleventh (and last track) "Getting There" which is a delicious slice of pop that will get us singing along.

"The Undoing," despite its soothing tempo, is a powerful record.  It has a way of undoing the dead knots we have tied around our securities, our agendas and our pride by freeing us to worship God for who He is.  



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