Friday, July 8, 2011

Review (3): Sara Kay // On The Way

Carisa Peterson's review of Sara's album On The Way:

Having lived for a number of days with Sara Kay's debut collection of inspirational tunes, "On The Way" spiraling out of my car speakers on MY way to and fro, I'm left delighted and refreshed. The album begins with a couple of rather catchy numbers including "Be Opened"--the 'be' so gracefully emphasized that it serves as a reminder to just BE in this age of always trying to acheive and juggle our many responsibilities, in addition to the more obvious message of the song which calls people to spend a moment with Sara Kay in musical contemplation and worship.

Track 3, "Of Lament and Hope (Psalm 13)" is vaguely reminiscent of some of the best moody alt-coffeehouse rock of the late 90's, again proving in Sara's unique way that inspirational Christian music doesn't have to be lambs and lollipops and oftentimes is more meaningful when it touches on the more melancholy strains of emotion.

"Victory (Psalm 3/Breast Cancer Song)" begins with an intriguing, perfect dissonance--setting the stage for what is a triumphant confection of a song, cheerily composed yet lyrically strong enough to handle the power necessary for just such a battle anthem.

"Share in the Feast" is melodically warm and welcoming enough to be backdrop for the most routine of communion services, but includes lyrics so modern and affirming that it deserves to be a showpiece embodying that which Christianity should (but sometimes does not) stand for.

I love the upset that track 10, "We Move" presents--the classic notion of God as a rock, but in this case refreshingly revealed as being impossible to perfectly cling to by its very nature--and it's exchanged for a new, more attainable and approachable image for the age we're living in, informed by a variety of faith traditions; and like the flowing water it speaks of, God becomes necessary for life itself in His updated earthly identity.

Edgy and evolutionary, Track 11, "Eve's Song" blasts apart the vilification of our first and one of our favorite antagonists, Eve--reframing her and the story we thought we knew as one of glorious clarity, coming into one's own being, and enlightenment; truly validating and inspirational.

"Holy Gardener" has enough pep and hook to be a much beloved Vacation Bible School theme, but is written exquisitely to carry 'us grown-ups' through our own weeks of dull tediosity with its colorful description of oft-forgotten surrounding beauty.

My heart swelled at the incorporation of melodies of two timeless hymns, in both "God of Movement" and "God of the Water and Land"--each an instant journey back to being a child and having a favorite tune spring up amidst an otherwise mundane Sunday morning, and which today stand as a comforting musical constant, albeit in this case spun with Sara Kay's linguistic charm.

The closing number, "Prayer for Healing" is the musical equivalent of a brief yogic cleansing breath, readying us to face what's next, having been better prepared for it by the time we've spent with Sara Kay.

I look forward to hearing more from Sara Kay, as she weaves her own unique perpsective together with traditional ideas--producing a novel sound and stage on which to continue building an ever-evolving faith.

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