STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 169512-27418 LABEL: Bethel Music 0610877929627 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2018-03-29 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
The lady who delivered those goosebump-inducing vocals on Bethel Music's "Reckless Love", "King Of My Heart" and "Pieces" here offers her second solo album. Have no doubt about it, Steffany is an emotionally affecting singer and, since her first solo album 'Out Of Hiding', has found a new confidence in God's deliverance and power which shines through these songs. The opener "Save Me" has powerful lyrics ("My weakness is my honour not my shame/Leaning is my portion not my pain/I was frantic till you changed the pace/You don't give me more than I can take"), and with its thunderous drums and interlocking synths is a top rate anthem which will surely be sung in many churches. Equally good is the title track final song which is a strident pop rocker with Steffany pronouncing "You can't turn out a light shining from the inside." In an interview, the singer suggested that 'Blackout' referred to the spiritual equivalent of the gag-orders that governments or media might impose on us so that we only get part of the story. We believers know what governments and mass media don't tell us, that God is the light of the world. As she said in that interview, "It makes me want to cry because we've never needed light like we need it right now. . . If I'm consumed in the light of God then there's no shroud of darkness. I don't have to fear any of [the dark things]. I can just walk through them and let his life in." Songs like "Blackout" and the simple piano ballad ("If we get disconnected/I'll sing my way back to your heart/I'll sing my way back to your arms") are just the spiritual resources the Church needs to live in light and renounce fear and darkness.
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Blackout marks Steffany Gretzingers second solo release with Bethel Music following her highly popular The Undoing release. Experiencing this music is more like reading a story than listening to an album. The record's cinematic and reflective soundscapes engage the imagination much like a book to its reader. With fierceness and radiance, Blackout heralds the message that even when circumstances bend towards chaos, light that shines from the inside out cannot be dimmed, In a blackout, I will illuminate the dark, You won't escape the beaming, I will glimmer, I will glow. These songs personify the world Steffany has been navigating, each embracing a choice to be vulnerable and present. Collectively they celebrate her discovery of a deep inner confidence and a joyful dependence on God and others in time of need. Known for her passionate abandon in corporate worship, Steffany's vocals are as ethereal as they are powerful on these tracks, shedding light on a less-visible side. She describes the record as one for the in-between moments in life, the moments that truly shape us, It's about being able to joyfully dance as tears stream down your face, knowing that life comes through learning to grieve and celebrate at the same time.
Sing My Way Back
All That Lives Forever
Forever Amen (Interlude)
Tell Me The Truth
This Is The Sound
Open Over Us