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Vulnerable and Healing
Posted May 26, 2022
By JasminPatterson_NRT, Staff Reviewer

What You Need to Know
Bethel Music's Amanda Cook has released her third full-length album, State of the Union, with record label, Provident. This album follows her 2019 release, House on A Hill,
 as well as several features on projects with Maverick City Music over the past few years, and Brandon Lake's latest album, HELP!. State of the Union explores themes of healing in relationship with God, self, and others. Fellow worship leaders Pat Barrett and Steffany Gretzinger, as well as GRAMMY award winning producers Paul Mabury and Jason Ingram are co-writers on the record.

What It Sounds Like
State of the Union is a clever and creative blend of Electronic Pop and Lofi ("Hell or High Water," "Miracle of the Mind") that's still worshipful at heart ("Our Jesus," "All That I've Ever Wanted"). Each song is strong and in its own right and serves its own unique place on the album. But at the same time, the album maintains a singular sonic vibe from start to finish. And nothing is lost artistically because of this decision. Rather, it adds strength to the project. 

Once you start listening to the album, you step into a cohesive lyrical and sonic experience that keeps your attention the entire time. Every detail of this record is excellently crafted and delivered--the production and musicality, the lyric, and Amanda's passion, vulnerability, and vocal strength that cut straight to the heart.

Spiritual/Lyrical Highlights
The whole time I was listening to this album, I felt like I was listening to prayers and journal entries. I kept thinking: "This is what words born from intimate friendship with God sound like." There's a peaceful and healing quality to the album because of that. The lyrics are raw and reflective, hopeful, and prophetic. Amanda is open with her struggles and victories, which invites you into the same close connection with God and healing found in His presence that she's experienced.

"Time," in particular, holds nothing back in its bold call to let go of the unforgiveness we sometimes hold towards ourselves. Don't you think it's time to forgive yourself/Heaven says it's time/ Hasn't the self-hatred stayed long enough...Heaven says it's time/Heaven says it's time/To free your hеart and free your mind/Heaven says it's time

Best Song On The Record
"Edens" gets best song on the record but, honestly, I could say that for about every song on the album. This project just doesn't miss. I love the way "Edens" proclaims the truth that God is with us in everything we experience and redeems everything we experience, making edens out of wastelands. You will be singing this one as a worship song and a victory anthem over your life.

For Fans Of
Kalley, Jonathan Ogden, Rivers & Robots, Elyssa Smith

Final Word
State of the Union is a treat musically, but even beyond that I sincerely believe this album will teach you how to talk to God and walk with Him through tough seasons. This album is sure to lead many into encounters with God that bring comfort, peace, and healing only He can provide. 

Buy the album on Apple Music or stream it on Spotify


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