Reviewed by Tony Cummings
You've read the story . . . now hear the album. If you've yet to catch up on the amazingly uplifting tale, Linda Doane, who with her husband Jim constitute Inspiration Worship, heavily covered in America's Christian media (and Cross Rhythms), she is a courageous lady recovering from terminal cancer who rose from her sickbed to take a nine-hour drive to Tennessee, met hit making CCM producer Ian Eskelin, and begin working on recordings of her self-composed worship and testimony songs. And if that makes it sound like 'Powerful' is going to be crammed full of Psalm-like laments or at least imbued with sad toned reflections on mortality, you'll be amazed when you hear this album. Linda's songs convey so much joy and faith, not just in God's healing power, but in his living kindness. There are songs of sad poignancy here; "I Can't Fix You" is a song aimed at the Doanes' teenage daughter who has her own health struggles, in her case with anorexia. But, thanks in good part to producer Eskelin, the mood here is largely of adoration and celebration, and on the techno pop opener, a natural for Christian radio, Linda's voice is amazingly youthful. In fact, she sounds like a teenager herself. It's particularly ironic that the first snatch of lyric which cut through to this less than attentive reviewer is probably top of the list of Christian songwriters' Clichés To Avoid, and wasn't even sung by Linda. On the song "The Blood", the lyrics "Praise the name of Jesus" bites through. But considering the deeply Christ-centric nature of 'Powerful' that's particularly appropriate.
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