Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Music Review: Blessings by Laura Story

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: "Blessings," good songs of worship
Cons: The songs blend together and are just average
The Bottom Line:
The title track shines
Rest of disc is average
But title track great

I Wish This Entire Disc Were as Much a Blessing as the Title Track

My first introduction to Laura Story was the title track from this CD.  I feel in love and had to get the disc, especially when I found it on sale.  However, the rest of it has never grabbed me.  I've listened to Blessings off and on for over a year, and I still find the majority of the CD only average.

Part of the problem with this CD is the genre.  Laura is very focused on worship music, and that's what this disc mostly is.  I tend to find that genre rather weak and repetitive.  I like the songs in small doses, but if I listen to an entire disc of them, I get bored.

And there's certainly nothing wrong with the lyrics to any of the songs here.  "This is the Day" celebrates the changes salvation brings to our lives.  "Friend of Sinners" marvels at Jesus' sacrifice for us.  "Remember" is a great song for communion.  And "Faithful God" praises Him for keeping His promises no matter what we do.  Even "Prodigal Song" offers a touching look at the father as he waits for his son to return home.

Like with the lyrics, the music is fine but nothing impressive.  It is mostly piano based with a few guitar oriented songs.  However, it is also very repetitive and on the slower mid-tempo side.

This is one of those discs that tends to all blend together.  Individually, I do like the songs, but when I listen to it as a whole, I get tired of it quickly.

Then there's the title track.  "Blessings" is a reminder and prayer that God is using the trials to bring us to Him.  "What if your blessings some through raindrops/What if your healing comes through tears/What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near."  The powerful lyrics are coupled with moving piano ballad backing.  It's the slowest track here and the only one that stands out from the others.  I absolutely love it.

This was the first of Laura's releases I bought, and I had written her off.  However, after catching her in concert with Steven Curtis Chapman and Jason Gray, I was persuaded to give her another chance, and I've liked her other CD's better.

So it looks like Laura Story fell victim to the sophomore slump.  I highly recommend the title track from Blessings, but the rest of the disc is just average.

CD Length: 40:28
1. This is the Day
2. Friend of Sinners
3. You are Love
4. What a Savior
5. Blessings
6. Your Name Will be Praised
7. One Life to Lose
8. Prodigal Song
9. Remember
10. Faithful God

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