An Album of Albums
Posted February 16, 2017
By PhillFeltham_NRT, Staff Reviewer
On March 3, Laura Story is back with what I like to call her album of albums.
Story's first two major releases, Great God Who Saves and Blessings, showcased her extraordinary musical abilities as a singer and songwriter. Her hit single "Blessings" from her sophomore album received a number of accolades, including RIAA Gold Certification, a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Christian Song and a Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Song.
Open Hands is a collection of worship anthems sprinkled with soft, soothing ballads of praise. "Death Was Arrested," the album opener, sets the pace and tone for the collection as Story proudly proclaims "when death was arrested, my life began." "Open Hands," the title track and first single, is by far my album favorite. For this brilliant musical masterpiece, Story teams up with Third Day's Mac Powell. Together, Powell and Story sing about laying all victories, losses and shame at the cross, coming to God with open hands. The song is definitely a piece of empowerment.
Story continues her new set of songs with the anthem "You Came Running." She proudly proclaims that God comes running to rescue us from pain, heal our wounds and redeem our stories. Story's vocals work in unison with the song's instrumentation and arrangement to deliver a sound listening experience. A power anthem works well when it has a balanced combination of assertive drum work, guitars and other instruments combined with epic vocals, and this song exemplifies this fact.
"Give You Faith" takes the listener down the path of reverence and intimacy. Taken from God's perspective, Story reassures the broken that He gives faith and hope in moments of hardship. The only drawback to "Give You Faith" is the lyrics shift from God to sinner, which could be confusing to the listener.
I can totally see Story's anthem "Extraordinary" sung on Sunday mornings. I think of a church's worship band playing the piece while all congregants stand on their feet with hands in the air, praising God's extraordinary love. "Awake My Soul (1000 Tongues)" is also another standout worship anthem worthy of a listen.
The Bottom Line: Laura Story is the songwriter who penned Chris Tomlin's famous worship song "Indescribable." Story showcases these same songwriting abilities on Open Hands, which leapfrogs past her previous work, making it her album of albums. She has set the bar high, and she will have to work hard on subsequent efforts to pass this highpoint. If you want praise-filled worship music, catchy hooks and quality vocal work, look no further than Laura Story's Open Hands.
Song to Download Now:
"Open Hands" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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