- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Jun
- Prodigal Martha
- Come to the Water
- The Cross
- Song in My Heart
- Who Will Cry
- Hung the Moon
Kate Miner has had a relatively unconventional and varied career path that never quite took off, but it's still earned her loyalty and respect with many in the Christian music community. Getting her start as a child by recording commercials, she signed her first record deal at 21. When she later joined Malibu Vineyard Church in California, her perspective completely changed, leading her to begin recording the worship albums for which she's best known.
In 2002, she moved with her family to Nashville, and the next year, she sought treatment at Vanderbilt Medical Center for polyps on her vocal cords. With the possibility of permanently losing her voice, Miner faced a scary period of silence—physically, because she wasn't allowed to talk for a while, and spiritually, because she was listening for the voice of God. That time of self-reflection and soul searching yielded
The album is striking in its sonic and lyrical variation. Judging by the acoustic and reflective title track that opens the album, one might peg Miner as a folk artist. Yet she balances that with Vineyard-styled modern worship like "Come to the Water" and "Covered," and she's even willing to throw in some surprisingly effective British rock on "Song in My Heart" and "The Cross." Said differently, Miner is a bit like Jill Phillips imitating the passionate worship of Rita Springer via the alternative pop sound of Kate Bush while throwing in some Coldplay and Delirious for good measure. On paper, that doesn't seem like it should work, but somehow she pulls it off.
As for the lyrics, Miner occasionally relies on simple worship sentiments, but parts of this album are nothing less than brilliant. The moving "Who Will Cry" resembles Amy Grant's acoustic style while relating the common hurts of life with seemingly no response from above. "Jesus," meanwhile, is written with enough simplicity and personality to explain the Son of God to those who need him most, and while the title track initially questions whether the Lord can recognize a prodigal's face, the ultimate conclusion is that he does.
"Hung the Moon," which features guitar by Phil Keaggy, plays like a spiritual and poetic lullaby set to resplendent alternative folk. Both "Overwhelmed" and "All" are among the year's most poetic and passionate worship expressions, though I'm partial to the insightful, hymn-like "The Cross"—"Jesus changed the color of the cross/From the dark of execution to the light of restitution … Jesus changed the symbol of the cross/From the language of rejection to a sign of resurrection."
A balance somewhere in the middle would have been welcome, because