Music review by Luchae Williams
Bethel Music worship leader, Kristene DiMarco, released her dynamic new offering, Where His Light Was, in September 2017.
The songbird is well known for her contribution to Bethel Music’s 2014 release, You Make Me Brave, with the ballad It Is Well.
In 2015, DiMarco released her third solo album, Mighty, which gave listeners a grander taste of her perceptive songwriting skill and impressive vocal ability.
It’s really easy to pick up that the singer’s heart is for worship and to see the listeners of her songs set free and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I was so pleased to find that her latest album shows a growth in her gifting, and also vulnerability. as she expresses her worship to God, with no prescribed norms attached.
“I want to use my whole life to develop new language for hope,” explains DiMarco. “Where His Light Was comes from the perspective of when you’re walking through a hard time, it feels dark, and you can’t see where you’re going, but God said ‘go’. If you keep moving forward you will reach your destination and realise you were never alone. Through the mystery and unanswered questions, He was with you the entire time. Don’t give up. Keep going.”
Album opener, Doxology, followed by title cover, an electronic-imbued Where His Light Was, serve as an eclectic introduction to the rest of the album. At first listen, I immediately knew better than to expect the usual collection of contemporary Christian anthems from this singer!
Track three on the album, titled Fear Not, proves just that, as she croons and serenades, with an almost folkish sounding tone, “Fear not!/If I could say it any louder I would!” I loved the message, the rhythmic drum beat and the breathy vocal.
If you’re a fan of big worship ballads you will enjoy the addition of the already famous DiMarco anthem, Take Courage, made popular on Bethel Music’s chart-topping album, Starlight. I also enjoyed the poetic, synth-infused Never Ever and one of my favorites on the album, I Am No Victim. The latter holds such a strong prophetic message, with lyrics that speak about living in the vision, promises and provision of God. The song releases a “now” word of hope and faith, in a time when it’s certainly needed.
I thoroughly enjoyed the soulful offering titled Jesus Is Willing recorded with gospel singer, Tasha Cobbs. The song speaks about a God who never fails and never leaves us in need. With powerful vocals, a catchy hook and encouraging lyrics, this is one to look out for!
Piano ballad, Your Love Stands Alone, speaks about the promise of Romans 8, reiterating that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Considering the fact that the album is made up of a collection of worship anthems, it’s amazing how each song can hold it’s own.
I loved album closer, I Just Want To Worship. This simple worship song speaks about wanting to worship despite and in spite of everything else, fully present in every moment with the Lord. The song is a heart cry, revealing the worship leader’s intention behind why she does what she does. It is absolutely breathtaking and DiMarco’s vocals are both rich and vulnerable as she delivers a poignant performance.
If you’re not familiar with Kristene DiMarco or her music, I encourage you to take a listen to Where His Light Was. The album is thoughtful and bold, showcasing the singer’s ability to not only pen her own hits but also deliver them in a way that is sincere and honest. A must listen!