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Story Expands Repertoire with Blessings

Story Expands Repertoire with <i>Blessings</i>

Artist: Laura Story
Title: blessings
Label: INO Records

Uncomplicated by fancy chord progressions or complex turns of phrase, worship leader Laura Story (“Mighty to Save,” “Indescribable”) doesn’t deviate much from the modern worship format that put her on the map with her latest album, Blessings. Well, in the beginning, anyway…

In fact, all roads point to predictable with everything from “This Is the Day” to “You Are Love” to “What a Savior” serving as veritable no-brainers for Sunday morning services. Easy-to-sing declarations of God’s infinite goodness and grace, they share the same great big choruses and polished production that we’ve come to expect from today’s praise songs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but it’s not exactly world-changing, either.      

Perhaps because of this been-there-heard-that sensibility, one even gets the feeling the aforementioned tracks could’ve really been sung by anyone. A perfect fit for anyone from Chris Tomlin to Darlene Zschech (people she’s written for in the past), there isn’t much that reflects Story’s unique perspective until the title track, five songs in, rolls around.

And that, my friends, changes the album’s entire course. With a substantive, Psalms 1:1-like plea for hope in the midst of life’s most harrowing circumstances, “Blessings” is probably the album’s least accessible track for the masses, but is easily the most memorable.

A pensive piano ballad that navigates the often-paralyzing road of suffering, Story sings about the utter disappointment and disillusionment we’ve all experienced in the journey of faith with conviction and (gasp) isn’t even tempted to put the proverbial bow on the situation by the song’s conclusion either. Sure, there’s ultimately hope at the end, but it’s never conveyed in a simplistic manner.

Same goes for “Prodigal Song,” another enjoyable diversion from worship as usual. By offering a modern take on the familiar biblical account, Story offers a new and revealing glimpse into the Savior who loves us, despite our proclivity toward sin.      

Further underscoring that message in equally memorable fashion with a beautiful backing choir to boot, “Faithful God” is the perfect closing track for an album titled Blessings. Vividly summing up exactly why we worship in the first place—and that’s because God is worthy of nothing less than our complete adoration—Story ends the album on a high note that also offers a revealing glimpse into her as an artist of faith.