Groves does a very introspective, piano based version of singer-songwriter Christian pop. Well, scratch all that. She makes really beautiful, thoughtful music. Let’s just say that. She has a really good gift with melodies and she sings with a real sincerity and empathy that allows her to sell songs that might seem terribly hokey if someone else tried to sing them. It’s Gonna Be Alright from this album is a perfect example; it’s hopefulness in the face of hardship could very easily be silly or even borderline offensive, but Groves sings it with such deep empathy that you can’t help but be moved by it. But her songwriting is the real star. She populates her songs with flawed people, including herself, going through hard things and she tells the stories in odd, interesting ways. When It Was Over is a fantastic song in that vein; it’s a look at a relationship in the aftermath of a difficult period. It’s a sort of look at the way relationships can recover after hard times; anyone else would just write the song about the hard times. But I really loved this album. The more I listened to it, the more I loved it. Kingdom Comes is an up tempo song about creating goodness in this life; Loving a Person is a quiet, subdued hymn about the difficulty of . . . well, loving people. “Loving a person just the way they are, that’s no small thing,” Groves sings on that track and that line is a good example of how she’s able to say really, really true things in very simple, yet also starkly beautiful, ways. A couple of the songs here don’t work. Unfortunately, the title track is pretty bad and I really dislike the relentlessly poppy How Can I Tell, which is the most explicitly Christian song on the album. The other songs, where faith and spirituality are more of a backdrop, are much better. But those two aren’t going to make me down this beautiful, emotionally resonant album. I think it’s a great record. Highly recommended. 4 stars.
tl;dr – introspective piano-based songs are melodic, beautifully sung, sharply written and filled with emotional truth. 4 stars.