Lauren Daigle's hit song "How Can It Be" has taken the airwaves by storm, so a short turnaround for a full-length release was more than expected from the talented young artist. How Can It Be is comprised of eight songs from last year's physical EP (only four of which were on the digital EP) and four newly recorded songs. All twelve tracks effectively convey Lauren's zealousness for Jesus.
"First" aptly opens the album with a new tune. The tender verses are contrasted with a soaring chorus as Lauren shares her desire to put God above everything else in her life. The underlying beat is pretty fresh, even if it is a bit repetitive. At first listen of "My Deliverer," it's hard to see past the all-too-common lyrics, but the song's quiet experimental nature makes repeated listens more rewarding. "Loyal" is the most ordinary song on the album with typical CCM builds and lyrics, but it is lifted above mediocrity by Daigle's soulful vocal prowess. On the fourth and final new song, the 23-year-old puts her own touch on a commendable cover of Crowder's "Here's My Heart."
The show stopping anthem is the title track "How Can It Be," which starts from a place of guilt and shame before building to a rousing chorus expressing deep gratitude for God's grace. The mellow acoustic number "Power To Redeem" enlists the help of David and Leslie from All Sons & Daughters, resulting in a beautiful portrayal of God's salvific power. "O' Lord" and "Trust In You" are two modern day psalms set to a cheerful and catchy pop framework. Rounding out the album on a reverent note are two prayerful ballads; "Salt & Light" utilizes gentle acoustic strumming and a weeping cello while "Once And For All" reflects on Jesus' crucifixion over a rich piano. The simple musical arrangements here and throughout the album are pulled off well, with each song boasting a distinct identity.
Even on the slowest of songs, Lauren Daigle radiates with a joy and peace that can only emanate from a burning passion for Jesus. Capturing that kind of tangible personality and authenticity is no easy feat for an artist, but it is Lauren's bread and butter. Top that off with her breathtaking voice and you've got some inspiring worship tunes on How Can It Be.
- Review date: 4/6/15, written by Christopher Smith of Jesusfreakhideout.com