Moving and Prayerful Posted June 23, 2021 By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need to Know I first heard Ellie Holcomb sing with her husband's band Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors when they opened for rock band NEEDTOBREATHE. Ellie is the daughter of legendary Christian music producer, Brown Bannister. So far, Ellie has quite a storied career as a solo artist. First, she dropped two EPs, Magnolia and With You Now. Then, she released her debut full-length album As Sure As the Sun, which features the hit songs “The Broken Beautiful” and title track “As Sure As the Sun,” That album earned Ellie the GMA Dove Award for Best New Artist. Afterward, Ellie released Red Sea Road, a thirteen song album featuring standouts "Find You Here" and “He Will.” That release was one of my Top 10 Albums of 2017. Now, four years later, Ellie is back with her latest release, Canyon.
What it Sounds Like The opening track, “I Don’t Want to Miss It” is an engaging song with Ellie's passionate vocals setting the tone for this exceptional effort. The song is an unashamed declaration of faith based on Zephaniah 3:17 which reminds us that God is singing over us. Ellie hooked me with the lyrics: “No, I don't want to miss it/No, I don't want to miss a thing/I don't want to miss the melody/That You've been singing over me.”Canyon’s songs “I Don’t Want to Miss It,” “Color,” and the title track showcase Ellie's passionate vocals, thus setting the tone for an exceptional album. “Canyon” is a wonderful prayer-song capturing Ellie’s heart for God, allowing us to eavesdrop on her deep thoughts and musings about God. She sings the song with the reminder, “There’s a river running through/My deepest pain/There’s a river running through/Every dream that never came true/Made me a canyon but there’s/A river running through,” which is in essence the thesis statement for this compelling album.
Spiritual Highlights Ellie is an anointed songwriter. She has a profound way of bringing me closer to God with her poignant words, tender singing, and inspirational truths. Ellie has consistently impressed me with her mature faith and sincere desire to serve Jesus. God promises us in His Word that His mercies are new every morning. Whatever situation you are facing you can know that God is with you, always. That truth is tenderly portrayed in “Color.” Ellie praises the loving and sacrificial attributes of our Savior as she achingly sings, “Am I worthy of the chances that I'm surrounded with/The shame that I am drowning in/The salt in my woundedness/Am I worthy of the pain that I buried in the dust/Of a God who I'm scared to trust/Tell me am I worthy of it.” The album is loaded with that type of profound lyrical truth as Ellie tenderly sings about her source of hope, Jesus. Throughout the song she achingly sings “this world is made of color” which is a worshipful response to her Savior reflecting the blessed hope of someone who understands the Good News of grace.
Best Song on the Record I generally rank my favorite songs based on how they move me emotionally. On this album, that's “Constellations” which I can't listen to without welling up. Ellie’s emotive and powerful vocals take listeners on an emotional journey that gives me goose bumps every time I hear the song and I lift my eyes and heart to Heaven every time I hear the song, filled with truth. Your heart will be moved to sing along with Ellie, “Out here in the dark/Underneath a canopy of stars/Constellations falling from Your heart/They tell me that I'm not alone/I know that I'm never alone/'Cause You find me and bring me back home.” I also can’t get enough of “Sweet Ever After,” which features Bear Rinehart from NEEDTOBREATHE and “Mine” which features Ellie’s husband Drew. You can sincerely sing these prayerful lyrics, and cling to the truth of these powerful songs. Every song will have you hanging on each word that Ellie tenderly sings. Her vocals will soothe your soul, and the vertical lyrics will direct your attention and focus on Jesus.
Final Word This is a Spirit-filled and emotional listening experience filled with profound lyrical truth. All the songs are catchy, worshipful, and biblically inspired. The artist expresses her prayers to God, allowing listeners to eavesdrop on her worshipful offerings and captivating ballads, one of Ellie's strengths. The album tells the story of redemption as each song gives a glimpse of how Ellie offers her Psalm-like prayers to God. Ellie is an anointed songwriter and she has a profound way of bringing me closer to God with her poignant words, tender singing, and inspirational truths. I get welled up singing along with several of the emotion-laden songs. Don't hesitate to pick up this great return from one of CCM's top female artists. These songs are all stand-out tracks filled with overwhelming biblical truth and are companions in my personal prayer and worship time. Ellie has captivating and catchy songs filled with inspirational lyrics. Ellie brings sincerity and relatable themes that get deeper with each listen. Canyon is sure to be one of the top albums of the year. This is truly a moving and prayerful album.