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Holiday Passion and Substance
Posted October 27, 2015
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer

Laura Story has become a champion in the female vocalist community within the last several years. From her powerful songwriting for other artists (such as on Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable") to her very own breakthrough hit "Blessings," Laura and her powerful journey towards life, faith and motherhood has captivated Christian music audiences far and wide.

God With Us is Story's very first Christmas release, and with a 120-voice choir, 50 piece orchestra and fellow seasonal music lovers Brandon Heath and Steven Curtis Chapman dropping in to lend their vocals on a few tracks, you can expect it to be just as powerful as the title implies. 

"Just Another Christmas" confronts the routineness of the holiday season, challenging us to set aside the distractions Christmas tends to entail by putting the focus on the birth of Jesus, our King. 

Utilizing that 50-piece orchestra with theatrical instrumentation, "Lift My Eyes" makes for the unlikeliest of Christmas song, but captures the spirit of the season with immense truth: "His breath can breathe new life in me / And tomorrow will bring happiness, every sorrow turned to dancing."

Tossing in a few classics, Laura Story's vocals shine on the always haunting "Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel," while a candid acoustic guitar drives home the melody on "Silent Night," giving it the vibe of a ballad being sung around the Christmas tree. 

Closing Thoughts:
Musically, fans shouldn't expect much innovation from God With Us. Part of what makes Laura Story so accessible is her simple approach. That said, what this album lacks in whimsical Christmas cheer, it more than makes up for in passion and substance. Though this is Laura Story's first Christmas release, I suspect it will not be her last. Her heartfelt, worshipful vocals are felt throughout each song with authenticity, while still paying tribute to the childlike innocence of the season. 

Song to Download Now:
"I Lift My Eyes" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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