Reviews



Old Favorites: Arthur Alligood’s One Silver Needle

By Jonathan Rogers

[Editor’s note: This piece is the second in a series begun by Mark Geil called “Old Favorites,” where various contributors to the blog reflect on some of the most beloved, well-worn albums in their collections. Today, we hear from Jonathan Rogers about Arthur Alligood’s album, One Silver Needle.]

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God Above, God Below: A Review of the Faithful Project

By Leslie E. Thompson

As a rule, I don’t take well to the separation of men and women in artmaking. I don’t think that individual sexes hold the keys to a certain set of artistic or personality traits, nor do I believe either have a creative advantage over the other. While this is true, I’m often struck by the impact of women in my life and marvel at the particular perspective they provide that so deeply relates to my own. Perhaps this is why Wendell Berry’s Hannah Coulter left me with tear-dampened cheeks and a soul-shaken spirit at each reading, while Jayber Crow was simply an enjoyable (albeit, uniquely enjoyable) read.

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Old Favorites: Clear to Venus

By Mark Geil

A treasured album is like an old friend. Any longtime music listener has them: those well-worn albums you come back to, not every day but every so often, when you need them. They become more than just a collection of songs. They’re a tangible set of memories. They might evoke a particular place and time when they first connected with you in such a personal way. You turn back to them to revisit those memories, or to seek the wisdom in the songs, just like calling a friend. And each time you say, “We should do this more often.”

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When Words Become Art: A Review of Go and Do Likewise

By Carolyn Leiloglou

John Hendrix has created his own unique style by blurring the boundary between text and art, melding it into cohesive story. Nowhere is this more evident than in Miracle Man, his first picture book about Jesus, where Jesus’s very words become an integral part of the illustrations, showing the power of the man who was the word made flesh. When I heard that Hendrix was creating a follow up book, Go and Do Likewise: the Parables and Wisdom of Jesus, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

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All For Your Love’s Sake: A Review of Prayer in the Night

By Katy Bowser Hutson

Tish Harrison Warren’s book Prayer in the Night is out in the world now. In it, her dark night of the soul is framed in the context of Compline from the Book of Common Prayer:

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Charlie Peacock’s Mind-Bend: A Review of Skin and Wind

By Matt Conner

Art cannot be divorced from context, so it is the year of our Lord 2021 into which Charlie Peacock’s wonderful new album, Skin and Wind, enters and resides with its lovely melodies and poetic wisdom. It’s an important arrival, to be sure, given the artist’s posture and position in the world.

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ADVENTure of the Unexpected: A Review of Slugs & Bugs’ “Make Ready for Christmas”

By Carolyn Leiloglou

It’s 2020 and the holidays this year will look different for most of us. Events we look forward to all year may have been cancelled: family Christmas parties, church cookie exchanges, and *sniff, sniff* the Behold the Lamb Tour.

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Release Day Review: Hidden in Shadow by Janna Barber

By Jonathan Rogers

Every month the moon grows to fullness, wanes to nothing, then grows back toward fullness again. That’s how it looks from here, anyway. In fact, the moon is just the moon, always there and always the same size, however it appears to us.

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Seeing with Our Ears: A Review of A. S. Peterson’s Frankenstein

By Adam Whipple

The country of radio theater has long been depopulated, but still its fields are fertile as ever they were. There, the imagination grows high, strengthened by roots which must dig deep to find purchase. Artists and craftspeople have long known: a good way to enrich one’s work is by limiting materials. Take away a color or two from your palette. Use only hand tools on your woodwork. Cook your meat plain, with heat, smoke, and nothing else. In radio theater, we forego our eyes; therefore our minds rocket into the realms of possibility.

So goes A. S. Peterson’s Frankenstein.

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The Story of Daughter Zion’s Woe: A Lament Compilation

By Kate Bluett

As the pandemic has made us painfully aware, women are often the first to give up. We give up our jobs to take care of the children, after first giving up our bodies to bring them into the world. We give up our needs to make sure that others’ are met. In many contexts, this means we lose our time or our money (or the possibility of making money), but what about the context of worship music? Women are worship leaders and musicians, songwriters and lyricists, but when we give up our places in the church to serve other needs, we give up our very voices. But the church and the world need our voices.

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Review: Melanie Penn’s More Alive, Vol. 1

By Matt Conner

The world is darker now than Melanie Penn could have ever predicted.

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Waterdeep and the Call To Live in Tandem: A Review

By Chris Thiessen

I’ve never ridden a tandem bicycle. I imagine it takes a measure of coordination and balance I simply don’t possess. More than that, however, I imagine it requires an intimate understanding of your pedaling partner—an understanding of their tendencies, knee-jerk reactions, rhythms, strengths, weaknesses, and on and on. I can only name a handful of people with whom I share this understanding; I imagine you’d say the same. And yet, we’re called in this life to much more daunting, collaborative endeavors than a bike ride.

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