Making Love Loud
Posted November 22, 2016
By johnhisel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
It's only been two years since Ginny Owens' last release, 2014's I Know A Secret, an album that was widely recognized as one of the best of her storied career. However, 2 years has been more than enough time for her to craft an album unlike anything she has released before. Just one listen tells us that she has never been better.
To hear Ginny herself tell it, those 2 years have been something of a sojourn, and God has begun to do new things in heart and in her music. "For the last two years, God has had me on quite a journey, insisting I move out of my comfort zone, never to return," Owens shares. "All the songs on Love Be The Loudest reflect this. They all speak to how God has been challenging me to change, teaching me to understand that I'm alive to give to others and to trust Him with everything."
After a short prelude that comprises the first track, it's immediately apparent that the new season has arrived as "Coming Alive" wastes no time in announcing the pure pop intentions of the record. The layers build with synth and programmed hand claps into a pop chorus that lays the foundation for the 11 songs that are ahead.
"The Loudest Voice" continues the pop journey, but with a chorus that is an anthem for the present state of our world as Owens sings "Love is drowning out my fear / Drowning out my fear / With the loudest voice I hear." "Love Looks Beautiful" is next and continues with love as a central theme while also owning one of the most singable choruses of the 13 tracks. It's also the first of six collaborations on the record, tastefully featuring Ellie Holcomb's voice throughout.
The middle section of the album starts with another collaboration, this time featuring Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave and containing some of the most hopeful lyrics on the entire LP. Ginny Owen proclaims in the chorus that "God doesn't see things the way we do / His perfect love defines what is true." The tempo picks back up with Fearless, featuring a relentlessly catchy chorus and slightly more rock leaning instrumentation highlighted by the bass guitar perfectly complementing Owens' heartfelt prayer during the bridge.
Next up is "The Fire," a standout ballad with a chorus that many Christians would do well to sing: "Thank you for the fire / Thank you for the night / Thank you for the trial / That I don't know how to fight / Thank you that you lead me / To the end of my own strength / This is where you meet me / And carry me again." The powerful chorus was born from Owens experience walking through challenges with her vocal chords, and it will comfort many that are currently in a similar valley. Taking the tempo right back up is "Go Be Light," with a half-time feel on the chorus that you don't know you need until it starts at the perfect place.
There is still more pop landscape to explore as "Made For Loving You" begins the final section of the album with a tasteful guitar-driven feel unlike anything else we hear on Love Be The Loudest. Another collaboration is next, as Meredith Andrews joins Ginny for the hope-filled "How Much More." The two voices couldn't complement each other much better than they do here.
Longtime Ginny Owens fans will love the next two tracks, as they are beautiful re-creations of two of her most well-loved songs: "If You Want Me To" and "Wonderful Wonder." They are both true to the originals, but also contain some of the most poignant lyrics Ginny has ever written. "Wonderful Wonder" is as honest and heartfelt as ever as Owens writes and sings within the context of the blindness she has faced since age 2, singing of the hope she has of regaining her sight in heaven.
The album closer "God Is Love" is a beautiful collaboration with worship powerhouse All Sons & Daughters, and completes the sentence the short opening track began. The harmonies here are effortless as the three vocalists end the record with a re-imagination of the 1800s-era hymn.
The Bottom Line: It's apparent from the very beginning that even though Ginny Owens is new to the pop scene, she can write great pop songs. It's even more apparent that she has the vocal talent to go toe-to-toe with the best in the entire music industry, and though this is nothing new to longtime Owens listeners, her powerhouse voice together with such well-crafted and thought-provoking songs is a potent combination. The production is top-notch throughout, but never over the top, and it never needs to be with Owens' signature vocals shining throughout. Woven through Love Be The Loudest is the central message of God's hope and perfect love, and the album is one of the best offerings of 2016.
Song To Download Now:
"The Loudest Voice" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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