Music review by Luchae Williams
Contemporary Christian songbird, Laura Story, released her seventh studio album, titled Open Hands, in March 2017. The singer songwriter is no newbie to the Christian music circles, having scooped a Dove award in 2002 for track Indescribable and a Grammy in 2012 for the popular worship ballad, Blessings.
The new album is opened with a stunner of a track, which some are lauding as the “one to look out for”, called Death Was Arrested. Complete with Story’s sugar-sweet, but compelling, vocals and lyrics that speak about our victory through Christ’s work on the cross, I immediately found myself drawn in. Another beaut, that definitely deserves a listen if you’re a Laura Story newbie, is worship song Whisper.
Title track, Open Hands, features Third Day front man, Mac Powell. This modern worship track has a catchy chorus that speaks about surrendering all to “the one that’s strong”. My favorite part says: “Jesus I surrender all/Every victory and loss/Take it all/Take it all/Till all I have is open hands!”
Other more contemporary worship ballads include You Came Running and For The Love Of My King. The latter was written in modern hymn style, complete with poetic verses and a more contemporary-sounding chorus.
I found Give You Faith to be an interesting addition to the album. The song, clearly an ode to Story’s children, speaks about choosing to leave them with a faith in God, more than wisdom, money and material possessions. The lyric so beautifully says: “I wanna give you faith, I wanna leave you hope / That you would know a love that never lets you go.”
Elements of pop can be found in songs such as Every Word You Breathe and Extraordinary. The album finishes with a stunning, piano-driven worship track called Grace Abounds. This song is one for the disheartened, in need of hope and a reminder of the power and beauty of grace. It is simple, classic and deep.
My introduction to Laura Story’s skillful songwriting was definitely a pleasure! She is able to turn Biblical concepts and principles into beautiful, poetic odes to and for God. Give this album a go if you love pop-inspired Christian music that is more than just a one hit wonder. Laura Story is the real deal.