Reflections of Amazing Love
Posted September 19, 2013
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Following up her impressive major label debut You Got My Attention, Fervent Records' Dara Maclean returns with Wanted, produced by Paul Mabury and available everywhere September 24.
The opening track "Wanted" is an engaging song with Dara's passionate vocals setting the tone with the personal and uplifting lyrics: "You, you have been marked / You're set apart / And He calls you His / So you don't have to search / Don't have to look for where you belong." Like her musical influence, Lauryn Hill, the opener has a super-catchy musical vibe and is a wonderful song about finding affirmation that "you are wanted."
"Our Only Hope" establishes the soulful musical flow for the rest of the album and you can physically feel the emotion in Dara's vocals. She proclaims her statement of faith by praying, "You're the Healer to the broken, Shepherd to the lost…Our only hope is Jesus." Amen to that!
Just as God commanded Moses to tell Pharaoh in Exodus, "Set My People Free" is an emotional highlight. The song addresses how God feels about human trafficking —"After all You've done in me, I will be Your hands and feet, follow where You lead as You say 'Set My people free,' Every boy and girl, deserves to know a life, far beyond the final reach... so the captives know, and my enemies can see, that I will set My people free."
"Good Enough" is a confessional song about Dara's identity in Christ, where she emotionally offers, "So I won't spend my whole life paying my own price, trying to be good enough, I'm gonna just let You love me, finally see me the way You see me, believing Your grace is enough for me." These are great prayers for followers of Jesus looking for ways to express their gratitude for what Jesus has done for us.
"Step Into The Light" has a great rhythmic musical flow, and Dara brings home the infectious biblical message of the song in the bridge: "All we have to do is step into the light, can you feel it, can you feel it…no more darkness, can you see it, we're walking in the light of love, yes we are."
In her gorgeous and personal ballad "Blameless," Dara asks the question, "what manner of love is this that You would lay down Your life?" based on 1 John 3:1: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him." I can't get enough of the musical and vocal build, complete with gospel-choir backed harmonies. Don't miss this standout track.
I also love the prayerful and vulnerable Lana Del Rey-like musical style song of surrender to Christ in "You Are All I Need." The song has already become one of my personal worship anthems with the piercing words: "In You I'll live, In You I'll stay, by Your Word, Light the way, You take me to the mountain, You take me to the depths, You take me to the fountain, when I have nothing left, You lift my head, You lift my head…" This emotional and melodically-soaring track is a poignant statement about finding God's transcendence and is a reminder to "not worry" in daily difficulties. You'll feel the emotion so poignantly expressed by Dara as she passionately cries out, "You are strength never failing, You are all I seek, You alone are enough, You are all I need." Amen.
Piano-based "I Am Blessed" keeps the Adele-like musical flow going and includes one of main themes of the album: "Here's my heart, laid bare before You / Now my prayer is just to know You / Since the day I was overcome by Your love / I'll never be the same / I'm ruined, I'm wrecked, and I can't go back to the way it was before You / my Savior, my Strength / I don't have to know what happens next to know that I'm forever blessed."
Dara's vocals and heartfelt sincerity in many of the songs including "Made" and "Find Rest" cause me to hang on every word she brilliantly sings. Dara sings the love song "Made" directly to her husband. The string laced song is yet another highlight on this mesmerizing album with the reflective chorus: "It's the easiest thing I'll ever do, ‘cause I was made to love you... what God has done, two become one." Dara pours her heart out in every single song which allows listeners to eavesdrop on her expressing her deep feelings, prayers, and desires for holiness directly to God. I really enjoy how this album tells the story of redemption as each song gives a glimpse of how Dara offers her Psalm-like prayers to God.
Recently married earlier this year, the album is seasoned with Dara's life experience and convictions. The album is filled with songs reflecting that she's loved, "blameless," "blessed," and made in the image of God. Her desire is to share that in Christ we are free from the burdens of guilt and shame and we are "wanted." Every song is catchy and meaningful. The standout tracks are "Wanted," "Set My People Free," "Good Enough," "Blameless," "You Are All I Need," "I Am Blessed," "Made" and "Find Rest."
If you are looking for the words to express your feelings to God, these songs are a wonderful companion. These are the most transparent, vulnerable and authentic lyrics I've heard on any album this year. If you like soulful singer-songwriters like Adele, Lana Del Rey and Natasha Bedingfield, you'll love Wanted by Dara Maclean. This entire album is loaded with relatable and biblical themes, incredible singing and prayerful words about what it means to be a child of God. Give Wanted a few deep listens and you'll love it. I hang on every single song and the stirring vocals, prayerful lyrics and musical arrangements are breath-taking.
Song to Download Now:
"Set My People Free"
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