Friday, April 26, 2013

Music Review: The Invitation by Meredith Andrews

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Thoughtful, worshipful lyrics
Cons: A bit slow overall
The Bottom Line:
Encouraging songs
Will lift your spirits in praise
Debut worth buying

Accept This Invitation Immediately

Even though I don't have access to a good Christian music station, I still do everything I can to find new artists.  A friend was talking about Meredith Andrews on his blog and raving about The Invitation, her major label debut.  I gave it a try, and I immediately fell in love.

Meredith Andrews has a background as a worship leader, and it shows.  Every one of these songs is focused on praising God for all He has done for us.  Yet the songs can be quite encouraging to us as well.

What sets this disc apart from many other worship releases is the style.  This is piano based pop.  Many of the songs would work better as special music than praise choruses in a Sunday morning service.  For me, that's a major plus.

The first single was "You're Not Alone."  It is by far the slowest song on the disc.  It starts out as a quiet piano ballad, but the chorus introduces heavy strings.  Yet Meredith's voice soars above it all as she sings of God's promise to be with us no matter what.  For those like me who can't get enough of it, it's on here twice.  The final track of the disc is a bonus acoustic version.  The main difference is the lack of strings.  It's still an amazingly powerful song.

But the disc actually starts with the mid tempo pop that makes up the majority of the disc.  "You Invite Me In" is a mid tempo pop song that reminds us God accepts us no matter what our past is.  It's mainly piano and percussion with hints of guitar and other strings in there at times.  "Lift Up Your Head" is slightly faster and features guitar more prominently as it reminds us that God frees us, heals us, and doesn't change.

I can almost see "Treasure" and "Deeper" finding their way to church services.  The lyrics and melody are simple in both.  But don't let that turn you off.  It's still great stuff.  "Treasure" is slightly slower and has a very catchy melody.  "Deeper" is more mid tempo and the most like a praise song of anything here.

I will admit to being a fan of the other piano ballad on here.  "The River" is really an invitation to come find the Living Water.  Again, the piano is backed up with strings, but they are more subdued here.  And I find myself singing the chorus whenever I hear this song.

And I love the idea behind "Show Me What It Means."  It's a prayer asking for help to live as Jesus calls us to live.  It's another upbeat song with a driving beat.

Probably the best thing about the disc is the variety.  Even though so many songs are mid-tempo pop, they don't all sound the same, even after multiple listens.  This is a disc I can leave in my car for a week and still not be ready to listen to something else.  And there isn't one weak track here.

So if you are looking for a new Christian artist to lead you in worship to God, be sure to accept The Invitation from Meredith Andrews.

CD Length: 44:47
1. You Invited Me In
2. Lift Up Your Head
3. You're Not Alone
4. Treasure
5. Show Me What It Means
6. Deeper
7. The River
8. New Song We Sing
9. Who is Like You
10. Draw Me Nearer
11. You're Not Alone (acoustic versions)

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