Lara Landon [Overcome]
Posted April 23, 2012
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
If her debut album Beloved which featured the hit song “Closer” conveyed Lara Landon’s revelation about who we are in Christ, her sophomore project, Overcome, speaks to our authority as His beloved to triumph over life’s most difficult circumstances. Landon has taken that message on tour and abroad, serving the least of these with New Reality International, the non-profit she and her sister co-founded in 2006. Meeting needs firsthand—whether it be in Haiti on a mission trip or in church singing—is a significant part of the Riverside, California-native’s ministry and has undoubtedly had a profound effect on her. But Landon affirms the depth of her songwriting was most influenced by the three years she spent singing at Nashville’s House of Prayer. “I loved the world that opened up to me at The House of Prayer,” says Landon. “I never thought I could sing and pray for hours on end. I learned how to make up Scripture songs on the spot, and I began to feel the depth that could come from using God’s Word to pray and intercede.” The songs on her new record reflect Landon’s time spent in the Word and a sensitivity to the needs and diversity of her fans.
The album has been preceded by the lead single “I See God In You” which is based on Lara’s mission trips to Haiti. Lara's main goal with her great new song "I See God In You" is to encourage people to share their stories about the people in their lives whom they see God in. This is her focus as it is something bigger than just a song. It is a movement to tell stories and to share encouragement. She has created a special webpage where you can submit the stories and photos of who you see God in. We need to remember to that "Good works done for God's sake, through Jesus Christ, mark the character of believers made holy by the Spirit of Christ" as stated by Matthew Henry. While listening to this song, I am challenged to practice "letting our light shine so that others may praise our Father in Heaven." That's how we can show God in us to others. Also, look for God in the "least of these" as Jesus tells us, "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for Me."
This incredible five star album opens with Lara’s gorgeous acapella vocals crying out “This is me…this is me broken, this is me facing defeat” in “Better For The Breaking,” one of several stand-out songs on this album. Guitar, piano and strings layer musically in a powerful fashion as the song builds to the emotional proclamation, “this is me finally facing, all of the pain, all of my doubt, I’ll be better for the breaking, finally I have the chance to be awakened, no I’m not afraid it’s the choice that I made to live again, I’ll be better for the breaking.” Lara wrote the song coming out of a break-up and commits to believing the truth of Romans 8:28 where God’s promise is to “work all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Amen. What I love is how Lara is singing about a broken relationship in the style of Adele’s hit song “Someone Like You,” yet as a believer she prays with confidence for God’s restoration and healing rather than expressing bitterness. “Falling” and “Defenseless” are also transparent, vulnerable and moving ballads. Lara’s breathtaking lyrics “Here I am defenseless, Abba Father, I have nothing left, only in my weakness, will I find You, find You…I’m laying down, letting go” brings me to tears as I pray along with her in “Defenseless.” I can’t recall an album starting with three ballads and that’s one of the many highlights of this “gourmet” offering of praise and worship to Jesus. These opening songs set the tone for a special worship experience.
Being a father of three young daughters, I want nothing more than for them to find their true identity in Christ. Lara is a wonderful role model for my girls as she expresses the Truth of her walk with God in the next section of songs, especially “Leah,” “The River,” “I Want You” and “I See God In You.” “Leah” expresses “One day you’ll wake up and realize you’ve arrived at a place too good to believe.” God has great plans for His followers as expressed in Jeremiah 29:11. “The River” completely captivates me and is a picture of a healing place for all relationships, from married couples to friends and family. Having been married for almost eighteen years, this song is a great reminder that God is the great Restorer and Healer. I love singing along with Lara at the top of my lungs, “take my hand, hold onto me, let’s go now, down, down, down…there’s a River, Fire Water, there’s a River, flowing over, let’s go down and let it cover all of this.” Amen. Lara co-wrote “I Want You” and “Overcome” with Dove Award winning songwriter Krissy Nordhoff (“Your Great Name”). They are both tender worship ballads and I lose it when Lara passionately sings “That day You made the sacrifice, You dressed me in the purest white, Your bride is grateful, Desperate now for You to come, establish Your Kingdom, until then I’ll be faithful, I want You, I want You, alone” in “I Want You,” one of many times this album causes tears to flow as I worship along with Lara in Spirit and in Truth. “Overcome” is based on Revelation 12:11: “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony and they loved not their lives until death.” No matter what you are going through in life, God’s promise to His children is that one day we will overcome. Amen.
Rarely has an album affected me this deeply as many of the songs cause me to physically feel the depth and sincerity of Lara’s goose bump inducing emotional vocals. Lara is clearly in love with Jesus and how these songs convey her relationship with our Lord and Savior in these songs is truly inspiring and convicting. These songs are meant to be experienced in order as they take the listener on an emotional journey from a place of confronting our humanity and weakness in “Better For The Breaking” and “Defenseless” to being encouraged by “Leah,” “The River,” “I Want You” and “I See God In You.” The end of the album is all about victory and empowerment where listeners can declare we will “Overcome” and “The Spirit of the Lord” is upon me. This is one of the most emotionally moving albums I’ve ever heard. Her remarkable singing voice and her interesting music and lyrics are truly captivating. This is a nearly perfect album. If you like Brooke Fraser, Adele and Sara Groves, you need to get Overcome by Lara Landon which is one of my top albums of the year.
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