Known for her work with progressive rock band Chasing Furies, Sarah also has three solo projects to her credit including the critically acclaimed The Waiters, The Watchers, The Listeners, The Keepers & Me. And in addition to touring and collaborating with artists such David Crowder, Tim Hughes, Matt Redman, Vicky Beeching and Burlap to Cashmere, Sarah speaks and leads worship at churches around the country.
Produced by her husband, Jonny MacIntosh, and J.T. Daly of Nashville’s famed Indie rock outfit Paper Route, Sarah's latest album Current is filled with songs of unabashed praise such as “We Should Run,” “Joy Comes In” and “Take It All.” But like David so freely did in Psalms when life wasn’t quite as upbeat and hopeful, Sarah also wasn’t afraid to dig into life’s darker seasons of lament with songs like “Hope,” “The Damaged” and “Hiding Place.”
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From the first moments of Sarah Macintosh’s new album Current, you know that you are hearing something that stands apart. The entire album is punctuated by chamber-pop elements and instrumentation. The standard sounds you would expect in a pop song clash with small and intimate details, giving the sonic landscape a sense of familiarity but with a lushness and texture that rings new to the ears of those of us who are so accustomed to the conventional output of the record labels these days. And while these elements draw you in, it’s the voice that keeps you listening.
Sarah’s vocal style is completely captivating. Right from the opening notes of “Current,” I was hooked. Most of all, the message of the song draws me in, especially in the bridge, “Love, say that it will be so, Love, say that you won't let go, Don't let go, Don't let me go.” I feel the same way as Sarah; that our walks with God are under attack by the world. Our attempts to have Christian marriages are being torn at from every side, and we need to pray daily to God, “Face of love, tear us away, Cause we are Yours to carry away.” There are currents metaphorically physically and emotionally all around us. The question is which currents you allow to take you. There is only One current we should all submit to as believers, and that’s God. The lead single “We Should Run” takes the listener on a spiritual and colorful journey. Macintosh elaborates, "I hope that the listener will grab onto them and say 'Yes! This is for me!' These are the songs of my heartbeat.” The song's lyrics share: “We should run, we should be laughing, We should look and see, He is lifted high! We should shout, we should be dancing, We should call and find a Savior who’s alive!” Amen!
Rather than address the themes of each song, let me just say this is one of the most captivating albums I’ve ever heard. Sarah has a vocal sincerity and creativity that rivals Brooke Fraser, Audrey Assad and Sara Groves, who are my top female Christian vocalists of all-time. Some of the stand-out moments of the album include “Hope,” where I get completely swept up in the bridge, “We will run, we will laugh, we will dance, we will shout, when You’re back for us, You come back for us!!” I sing those words praying for Jesus to return at the top of my lungs. I am a believer and my testimony is that my love for music led me to Jesus Christ due to the Gospel messages of Christian music. This is a great album for your unsaved family and friends. Another highlight is the personal confession in “The Damaged,” where Sarah confesses, “red is the color of my heart as it cries hush, hush…I don’t want to be the one who’s broken, I don’t want be the one who falls apart, I don’t want to be damaged.” In discussing the album with Macintosh, her hope is that spiritually listeners enter the album on “Current” and exit the album on the last track, “Joy Comes In,” and not realize that they’ve shifted spiritually. Hopefully the Lord has moved them from one point to another and that listeners learn things about the Lord that changes and moves them. Hopefully the album will swirl around them like a current. That’s a great description of the journey of this album, as while savoring “Calling, Calling,” many times I’ve forgotten where I am and that’s the type of unique worship experience you’ll want to replay over and over and it will draw you closer to God.
CLOSING THOUGHTS Sarah Macintosh has pure and strong vocals that remind me of Sarah McLachlan and Sarah Brightman who are my favorite mainstream female vocalists of all time. I consider Sarah someone to watch out for in 2012 and based on this album, she is one of the top female vocalists I've heard in the past year.I haven’t heard an album that has struck me like this album sinceFlags by Brooke Fraser. “Current,”“We Should Run,” “Hope,” “The Damaged,” “Calling, Calling” and “Joy Comes In” are all stand-out tracks filled with overwhelming biblical truth. Sarah has captivating and catchy songs filled with inspirational lyrics. For me, Sarah brings sincerity and relatable themes that get deeper with each listen. My favorite albums are the ones that continue to provide new revelations over time by savoring them this album has already done that for me. If you are looking for one of the top female solo albums of the year, then look no further thanCurrent by Sarah Macintosh. I’m sure it will continue to challenge, inspire and move me. This is truly a great album and an uplifting worship experience. This five star album draws me closer to God. For sure, this is the ultimate “gourmet” release of 2012. Do yourself a favor and buy this album immediately.
Sarah Macintosh: Current| Posted March 31, 2012 I am not usually one to listen to female vocalists a lot, but Sarah Macintosh has very quickly changed that about me. Current is her latest release on Integrity Music, and it is a masterpiece. Her voice is captivating, and her alternative style of music is perfect. After only the first 30 seconds of the first song I was already in love with her. This year seems to be the year where female vocalists really break out. I loved Kari Jobe's album Where I Find You, and Lindsay McCaul's If It Leads Me Back To You was pretty good too. And now I am really getting into Audrey Assad's album Heart (review coming soon!). Of those four, Current is my favorite though, and one that I find myself listening to once or twice, or three times a day.
The album starts instantly with my favorite song, and also the title track of the record. "Current" has very interesting instrumentals that automatically caught my attention and fascinated me. Her voice also immediately drew me in, and I had a feeling that I was going to really like Current just from this song. The song talks about being swept away by God and not by the things of this world, and the majesties of being swept away in God's grace and love. Needless to say, Macintosh starts the album off very well.
The first and only single from the album, "We Should Run," follows up the title track and is just as good as the first song. The track basically picks up right where the title track left off by talking about the joys of abiding in Christ's will. One thing that really cemented my love for Macintosh and her music is the intricacy of the instrumentals in each of her songs - they sound unlike anything I have heard. The next song, "Take it All," is about giving all our sorrows, burdens, worries - all of it - to God. The song feels more suited for Christian radio than most of the others, and one I would definitely love to see go to radio.
The first verse of "Hope" kind of reminds me of Gungor, just because it sounds very similar to some of their songs. I love, love, love the chorus to this song, which is all about how we have hope because we know Christ is coming back for us. I love that she talks about how we can have fun and spread our arms out and be comforted in the fact that Jesus will one day come back for us. Sometimes it feels like there are shifts in an album, and "Laughter Comes Upon Us" definitely feels like a shift in Current. The style of the music feels a little different than the style of the beginning of the album and for some reason it just feels like the album shifts a little bit at this point.
"Galaxy Former" is a really cool song, and one that is a definite highlight in the middle of the album. The instrumentals are superb and her voice is definitely right on par. The song follows in the theme of the some of the earlier tracks by talking about the wonders of Christ and how truly great He is. I think the highlight of the song, for me though, is her voice - it sounds perfect on this song.
Probably the best track at the end of Current is "Calling, Calling." It is a very calming song and I think, once again, her voice sounds fantastic. The concept of the song is that through faith in God we can truly do anything, which is always a great reminder for me, and I think for all Christians.
Sarah Macintosh's Current is truly a masterpiece worthy of being on everyone's iPod. Her voice is superb and the instrumentals are great and original. Right now it is one of my favorite albums of the year and I have a feeling it will be one that I listen to for a very long time. As I said earlier, I am not always a huge fan of female vocalists, but Macintosh has very much captivated me with each and every song on this record. Even if you do not necessarily like female vocalists or the alternative genre, I would highly recommend giving this one a chance.
Favorite Song: Current
Favorite Lyrics: "Words from my heart have found their way to Your mouth. I know You sing. You're prayers are for me." (From the song "Hiding Place")
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Music Review Blog. Click here to visit today!
Is this a new sound, or a fresh genre?| Posted March 06, 2012
Sarah's vocals are a constant echo of an oceanic breeze. Her sound is pop, with a light modern orchestra, her vocals are uniquely defined to the likes to Sara Bareilles. Her lyrics help you find a deeper meaning than the words are letting you hear.
Around the turn of the millenium Three siblings made a giant ripple in the Ocean that is Christian Contemporary Music. Joshua, Rachel and Sarah Meeker, recording under the name of Chasing Furies, unleashed a version of alternative music not seen or heard since. Though the band was a hit with fans, with "Thicker" being the eighth most requested song of 1999 on ChristianRock.net, the band, for reasons unknown even to them, disappeared. For most, they are among the many one hit wonders of CCM.
Fast forward to 2012. Sarah Macintosh (nee Meeker) is making a mark on the CCM Charts as a solo artist, while at the same time remembering her roots. Several songs on Current, her latest release, among them We Should Run (echoes of Enchanted), Galaxy Forever and Calling Calling are definitely written for the fans of Chasing Furies. Sarah's Haunting vocals are unmatched anywhere in the current marketplace.
Current will definitely be among my picks for Best Album of 2012. I would give it more than five stars, but that's all they allow. It is definitely a good thing to keep current.
New album| Posted March 04, 2012
I am loving this artist God bless you with your music we pray to hear somemore of it in months and years to come. Remember remain humble and HE will lift you up. He will never leave you or forsake you. God bless.
Great!| Posted February 29, 2012
The premier song (Current) is extremely well written. A great beat over a song that has the feel of floating down a calm river. This song is very aptly named! Veteran lead vocalist of Chasing Furies shows her stuff on soaring ballads, beautiful praise and Christian dance tunes. Well worth the listen.
Ambience Reigns Supreme Over Pop| Posted February 28, 2012 It took some getting used to the new sound of pop in Sarah’s new release versus the angsty melody found in the Chasing Furies. However, her airy sailing vocals continue to mesmerize. She really has always had a sound all her own. I think the creativity of the songs, lyrics, and production is lacking which creates a conflict … I love the vocals but the songs-not so much. I think that Sarah’s voice reminds me of some of Amy Grant’s hits but without all the cheesy love lyrics.
Beautiful| Posted February 28, 2012
I absolutely love Sarah's voice. I'm so excited to be able to listen to something other than the old ChasingFuries CD I have worn out. I know every nuance of that great album. She is such a gifted artist and I am brought through many different emotions on this album, but mostly JOY. Love it and can't wait to purchase it.