Reviews



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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Signs and Songs: A Review of The Corner Room’s Remember and Proclaim

By David Mitchel

Early in C. S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair, when Aslan gives Jill Pole the quest of rescuing Prince Rilian of Narnia, he also gives Jill four signs by which she might fulfill the quest. Before sending her to Narnia, though, Aslan warns Jill.

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The Unbridled Joy of Making It

By Chris Yokel

If you’re like me right about now, you’re looking for just about anything to give you a glimpse of joy and beauty in a world that feels like it’s burning to the ground. And if you’re a maker of beauty, you might also be struggling with trying to draw anything remotely creative out of yourself during this season. Despite what the productivity gurus might suggest, it’s kind of hard to get things done with the underlying anxiety and fear so many of us are dealing with (much less working and parenting from home 24/7).

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Keeper of the Word: A Review of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson

I make the sign for birch in the gray soil of thought.

A tree springs up, its trunk white and straight, its leaves small and rounded.

“The birch is the tree of beginnings, of purification, of fire. Let the birch stand in honor of the Bard, who summons the inner flame. The Bard will be poet, musician, and prophet. He will learn the history of our people, all our laws and our lore. The Bard will be Keeper of the Word.”

—Helena Sorensen, The Door on Half-Bald Hill
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Finding a Way Forward: A Review of The Door on Half-Bald Hill

By John Barber

And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again”
— Rich Mullins, “The Color Green”

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His Love, It Makes Us Younger: A Review of All Creatures by Rain for Roots

By Kelsey Miller

A few years ago, I arrived at a church choir gathering with friends of all ages. An elementary-aged girl had been dropped off by her parents and I noticed her sitting by herself with a shy smile. I smiled back and waved, taking a seat and settling in.

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