Although this is Laura Story's debut album, she is no stranger to Christian music. Story is best known for writing Chris Tomlin's breakthrough hit, "Indescribable." Though Laura has a great following, Great God Who Saves might not be quite up to par.
It is clear from the get-go that Laura has a heart for worship music. Worship leaders Darlene Zschech and Chris Tomlin both come to mind while listening to Great God Who Saves. It is also evident after a few songs that the album's overall theme is redemption, especially in songs like "Mighty To Save" and the title track.
Lyrically, the album lacks depth. Despite the amazing lyrics of "Indescribable," the majority of the album is very clichéd and uses lines that are all too frequently used in worship songs. For example, the chorus of the opening trackm, "Bless The Lord," is simply, "Bless the Lord/ Oh, my soul/ And all that's in me/ Bless Your name." They're lyrics we've heard sung time and time again.
Musically, the saying "Been there, done that" applies. There is nothing stylistically unique or original about any of the songs on this record, and she sticks primarily within a safe range. Laura's voice is also mostly average which doesn't help bring any unique characteristics to her songs either.
On a positive note, Laura's take on "Indescribable" is much better than Chris Tomlin's far too overplayed rendition. The breathtaking lyrics take on full form paired with a more acoustic setting. The song feels much more intimate as the tempo is slowed down a bit. Lyrical flaws aside, the highlights of the album include the catchy, worshipful, "Mighty To Save," the upbeat title track, the slower "There Is Nothing," and the beautiful, piano-based "Perfect Peace." The other songs just fade into the mix, and leave no real impact on the listener, especially in the album's second half.
Overall, Laura Story's debut lacks depth and originality. With some major improvements both lyrically and stylistically, Laura could really shine on her next release. Although she doesn't get a chance to show off her talent, her easily accessible range is clearly fit for the genre, with songs destined to be sung by churches everywhere. But for now, Laura is just another worship leader, and Great God Who Saves is just another worship album.- Review date: 3/15/08, written by Matthew Watson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: INO Records
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