I'm not a big fan of Christian music. Most of it, anyway. And I don't do music reviews here on the Desperate Pastor Blog. But I'm making an exception.
Carolyn Arends's new recording (and her tenth release), Love Was Here First, is unique, original, refreshing, and insightful. The first several times I listened to the uniformly quality tracks, I found myself wondering who she sounds like, who she reminds me of. I finally realized: no one. She has a sound and songwriting style that could be favorably compared to a number of others, but unlike some Christian artists, she seems to be truly making her own music, not imitating someone else's.
There's something here for everyone. For me, each track seemed stronger than the last. I liked her surprising, bluesy arrangement of Standing in the Need of Prayer. And I liked the lyric, Something Out of Us. But I loved everything about Willing, According to Plan, and the title track, The Last Word (Love Was Here First). And I know it's a personal bias of mine, but the fact that almost half the songs are prayers greatly increased my appreciation. As did such fine lyrics as:
But I am willing--to be willing
And I am ready to be moved
And I am longing--for the longing
That pulls me close to you (Willing).
I'm not sure that God moves everything
Like pawns in a chess game, or puppets on a string,
And I can't determine just whether or not
He causes our troubles or He makes them stop.
But I am convinced we get one guarantee:
There's no situation that He can't redeem.
When He moves in our hearts, that's when we understand
It's going according to plan (According to Plan).
That's good stuff. And Love Was Here First is full of such stuff.
For more info, check out www.carolynarends.com
. To buy the CD, go to www.feedthelink.com