Love Has a Name is Kathy Troccoli's 12th album in a distinguished career of nearly 20 years. Fans of her music and her always solid alto voice should be pleased with this collection of upbeat songs filled with inspiration and encouragement. One tune, the album opener and first single, "Parade," is a fun praise song, but it's a little too reminiscent of Michael W. Smith's "Love Me Good." And I'm a little disappointed that, for all of Kathy's writing accolades, the lyrics are somewhat cliched for a praise song, except for the clever line "I exalt you / rain on my parade!" Another example of the album's perkiness is the Latin-flavored "God Said It." I liked her cover of the Foreigner hit "I Want To Know What Love Is," which has a bouncy shuffle to it that separates it from the power ballad feel of the original. And she has a clever way of answering that search for love by following it with her song "Love Has a Name." But for the most part, Kathy's music is your standard Christian pop done so many times before, or found in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.
But one does not listen to Kathy Troccoli for musical inventiveness, but rather solid pop songs of encouragement; and it's well-produced, solid pop. There's a recurring theme throughout Love Has a Name of trusting in God's will despite the dark times in our lives. Kathy offers plenty of hope for the hopeless in her ballads "Break My Heart" and "All Is Well"; no doubt these songs were cathartic for Kathy too, having lost a father, mother, and aunt over the years. I think what endears Kathy so much to her fans is that she writes from her heart as much as any artist I've seen. For example, she's been branching out her ministry to include writing books and speaking engagements. I think this is well expressed in her song "On My Way To You": "I'll keep on spreading Your Word / giving Your life / holding out hope / doing what's right / praying for people / and lifting them high / showing Your love / being Your light / on my way home to You." Kathy may not be an innovative artist, but she's a capable minister who uses music to share her faith; and based on the response she gets to her work, that is her greatest gift.