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Into the Unknown

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Aug
Into the Unknown
Sounds like … acoustic pop, sometimes worshipful and sometimes inspirational, reminiscent of Nichole Nordeman, Shawn Colvin, Susan Ashton, and Carolyn Arends, as well as the earliest albums from Amy Grant and Rebecca St. JamesAt a glance … it's a pleasant enough pop-worship album with some good songs, but there aren't enough unique qualities in sound and writing to help establish Anadara as a fresh and unique talent in Christian musicTrack Listing Go Simple Song of My Surrender By Your Love Personal To the One The Name Die for the Rest of My Life Echoes Around the World Still

Spring Hill Worship initially began in 2005 as a resource of new songs for the church. That focus hasn't changed, but rather expanded in order to debut new Christian artists with a heart for worship music. Anadara is the latest whose work has previously been featured on the label's compilations—a twenty-something originally from Carlsbad, California who moved east to attend college and pursue Broadway dreams. While waiting for her big break, she continued to write songs in her spare time, eventually using that talent for the church. Hence her position today as a singer/songwriter for Spring Hill, and now her debut project Into the Unknown.

Anadara is at her best when writing explicitly for corporate worship. "The Name" is her most recognized song so far, a gorgeous ballad exploring the various identities of God in the Bible, suitable for both congregation and choir. Nearly as good is "To the One," setting evocative praise lyrics to accessible, corporate-friendly AC pop. But Anadara also mixes in some more introspective and inspirational songs. "Personal" sweetly reminisces over the comforting love of her mother, and "Go" is written from God's perspective, encouraging us to confidently make a leap of faith. Several tracks are written as an offering of surrender, the strongest being the more interestingly phrased "Die for the Rest of My Life."

There really isn't anything wrong with Anadara's debut, except that very little is done to set her apart from similar and better artists. Stylistically, she's like a cross between Nichole Nordeman and Susan Ashton, at times reminiscent of the earliest albums by Amy Grant and Rebecca St. James. And with a voice somewhat comparable to Christy Nockels (Watermark), the two duet almost seamlessly for "To the One." A pleasant inspirational pop album with some choice songs, but it overall lacks the unique qualities (like personality, creativity, vision) that are needed to distinguish and establish a new talent.

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