British-American sister duo The Sonflowerz return with a new full length album By Faith, on September 13th, 2011. In 2007, The Sonflowerz garnered praise for their "GMA Vocal Duo of the Year" award at the GMA in the Rockies Competition. With the release of their album, All Over The World in 2008, they received outstanding response from their singles "My Adoration," "Legacy," "Edge of My Seat" and "More Than I Think I Am." The Sonflowerz are made up of sisters Elissa and Becca, who both got married in a double wedding ceremony the same day last year.
By Faith opens with an upbeat praise and worship song, "You Captured Me," which has a Brit-rock feel similar to Desperation Band, which is appropriate as this album was co-produced by six-time Dove Award winner Don Koch and Matthew Fallentine from Desperation Band. Elissa and Becca attend New Life Church in Colorado and this album is filled with great harmonies, vertical worship lyrics and every song is an offering of praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus. No song better captures the essence of this great album than the title track, "By Faith," which is one of my favorite songs of the year. The song is based on the biblical Truth of Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Elissa and Becca are truly anointed singer-songwriters and I love singing the bridge along with these talented sisters at the top of my lungs, "Though my eyes cannot see, I know You are with me, You are with me" which flows back into the gorgeous and catchy chorus which ends with "In You I put my hope." Amen to that!
The album is balanced with a great blend of upbeat songs and ballads, and you’ll be singing along with the worshipful choruses after just a couple of listens. I could imagine many of these songs doing well on radio including the next songs "Made To Shine" and "Now That I Am Yours." Each song clearly and prayerfully reflects a worshipful response to God, with catchy music and lyrics and all of the songs include encouraging takeaway messages such as "God’s Love is burning like a fire inside of you, and no one can take that away" in "Made To Shine." Some of the songs have a folk-pop feel like "Now That I Am Yours." Some of the songs could be added to church worship services including the next set of songs, "Always Reign," "In You Alone" and "How Great You Are." My favorite part of the album is the middle section of songs, with "In You Alone" declaring "In You alone I rise above, wind and storm won’t stop Your love, it’s only by Your grace that I stand, and I am not moved, In You alone, my soul finds rest, the song of hope rings in my head, the darkness is defeated in You, and I will overcome, in You alone." I’m a big fan of transparent and vulnerable lyrics, and this album is chock-full of that type of prayerful song, and many of the songs include Brit-rock type guitar riffs as the sisters are most influenced musically by legendary and recently retired worship band Delirious, one of my all-time favorite artists. "How Great You Are" was co-written with and features Jared Anderson from Desperation Band.
By Faith closes with hit single "My Heart Is Alive," which reminds me musically of "All Over The World," and then "Dearly Loved" and "The Face Of Jesus." I greatly enjoy the story-song "The Face of Jesus," which starts with a description of an expectant mother and a young boy who lost his mother each finding the greatest love written on their faces in a ‘pay it forward’ style message declaring "Jesus, Jesus, a shelter from every raging storm, Jesus, Jesus, His grace will heal the pain of any thorn, we are His hands and mercy, to reach out in His name, your life can be the way to finally see the face of Jesus." Great song and great message.
This year has been marked by a strong batch of female vocalists who have all written and recorded some top-notch songs and albums, including Laura Story, Dara Maclean, Tricia Brock and Francesca Battistelli. Add By Faith by The Sonflowerz to that impressive list of great new albums this year. If you like songs that are filled with biblical Truth and enjoy bands like Point of Grace and BarlowGirl with female harmonies, then look no further than The Sonflowerz.