Thursday, April 27, 2017

Music Review: Open Hands by Laura Story

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: 11 songs to lead us in worship
Cons: I wouldn’t mind a couple more upbeat numbers
The Bottom Line:
Focus in on God
As Laura sings from her heart
On these songs of praise

Laura Story Continues to Offer Great Worship Songs

Laura Story is quietly making a name for herself as a worship artists.  Her lyrics are focused on God and it’s hard not to focus on Him when listening to one of her CD’s.  That’s a great thing.  Open Hands is her latest release and another perfect example of what Laura does best.

The disc opens with “Death Was Arrested.”  This song is apparently a couple of years old, but I don’t remember ever hearing it before until I bought two CD’s with the song on it in March.  I’m not complaining in the slightest because I have quickly grown to love this song.  Laura’s version is slightly more laid back than the version Aaron Shust did, but I love these lyrics that take a fresh look at the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross.

Next up in the title track, where Laura is joined by Mac Powell of Third Day.  Not surprisingly, the song is about surrendering everything to God.

Laura offers two tracks in a row in what I like to call the updated hymns genre.  These are songs that take familiar hymns and infuse them with a new chorus.  “For the Love of My King” is a new take on “My Jesus, I Love Thee,” while “Awake My Soul (A 1000 Tongues)” updates “O for a Thousand Tongues.”  Since I enjoy hymns, I love these modern takes on the classic songs.

Other highlights include “You Came Running,” which reminds us that God is quick to respond when we need him, “Give You Faith,” a very personal prayer that Laura will pass on her faith in God to her kids, and “Grace Abounds,” which marvels in God’s gift of grace to us.  Honestly, this disc is full of songs with strong lyrics that focus us on God, one of the things I really look for when buying music.

My only complaint with the disc is a minor one.  Laura has a mid-tempo style that she loves.  If you look at her previous releases, you’ll find that they are the majority of the songs on each disc.  However, I have enjoyed some of her more upbeat songs in the past.  This disc falls completely into the mid-tempo category.  There is enough variety in these piano lead tracks to keep your attention and differentiate one track from another, but I do find myself wanting something more upbeat along the way.

Still, if you are looking for fresh songs to focus your spirit on God, you’ll be glad you picked up Open Hands.  Laura’s heart is wonderful to see in these songs.

CD Length: 42:57
1. Death was Arrested
2. Open Hands
3. You Came Running
4. Give You Faith
5. For the Love of My King
6. Awake My Soul (A 1000 Tongues)
7. Whisper
8. Every Word You Breathe
9. Majesty
10. Extraordinary
11. Grace Abounds

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