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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Falling Forward

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Apr
Falling Forward
Sounds like … adult contemporary similar to Twila Paris and Kathy Troccoli, with some orchestral pop reminiscent of The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, Women of Faith, and Lakewood Church.At a glance … jubilant praise and ballads about God's unending grace make up the bulk of this satisfying collection from the Christian music matriarch.Track Listing Made Me Glad
Sing to the King
Falling Forward
Sweeter Medley
Step Into the Joy
In My Heart
Sandi's Medley
You Call Me Yours
Grace Flows Down

Ever since the controversy surrounding her much publicized divorce in the mid '90s, Sandi Patty has not only struggled to regain the trust of her fans, but also the musical prowess of her early days. Some of Patty's albums in the last ten years have been overly restrained in their inspirational style—a far cry from her best-known work, more reminiscent of Twila Paris. But when Sandi Patty released Hymns of Faith…Songs of Inspiration in 2004, it was almost as if the singer was announcing, "I'm back!" It was a return to form vocally, belting timeless hymns and exuberant praise standards with sweeping pop-orchestral grandeur.

Patty's latest, Falling Forward, tries a little bit of all that and more. For part of it, she goes back to the inspirational route with "Falling Forward" and "Grace Falls Down," two peaceful and tender odes to God's gift of unmerited favor. But there's also Patty's signature vocalizing, showcased to perfection in the devotional "In My Heart." Longtime fans will especially love "Sandi's Medley," a nostalgic trip down memory lane that melds together her classics "Upon This Rock," "In the Name of the Lord," and "Who Will Call Him King of Kings" to stirring, climactic heights.

Joining these facets is Patty's worshipful persona, which is explored here even more so than Hymns of Faith. Though somewhat by-the-book, her renditions of Hillsong's "Made Me Glad" and Passion's "Sing to the King" are nevertheless convincing. More remarkable is listening to Patty covering Israel & New Breed in "Sweeter Medley," demonstrating a little seen funky side with loads of horns and a tight rhythm section.

No, this album isn't quite the blockbuster that Patty's most steadfast fans are used to, but it all amounts to a satisfying effort that encompasses the full range of this veteran's storied career—and one that sees the singer continuing to express regained peace and happiness in her walk with the Lord.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.