Just four years ago, Gotee Records recording artist Sarah Kelly made her label debut with Take Me Away. The title track from that album was a hit on the airwaves and the disc itself was warmly received by Christian music fans. In fact, Take Me Away even earned Kelly her first Grammy nomination for "Best Rock Gospel Album." Her follow-up project, Where the Past Meets Today, was also a hit with her many fans and brought her more notoriety as one of Christian music's best up-and-coming acts.
Although Sarah Kelly's music has always carried a strong worshipful feel, her songs were still easily classified in the "rock" category. However, her latest project, em>Born to Worship has a different sound from her previous two albums. Every track seems a bit more stripped down and simple than most of what we have heard from Kelly so far. In fact, Born to Worship makes this singer-songwriter sound more like she is leading a church choir rather than rocking it out on her guitar. However, this does seem to be an intentional shift for Kelly. One thing has stayed the same however: Kelly's rich, beautiful vocal skills. As displayed on each album, her raspy, powerful, commanding voice is one of the finest that I have heard in a long time.
Opening track "Brand New Day" immediately captures the essence of Sarah Kelly's latest release- upbeat, praise-filled, and heartfelt. "You Overwhelm Me" and "Everything to Me" both evoke images of a Sunday congregation worshipfully singing while being led by Kelly. The acoustic guitar driven "Not Quite Home Yet" encourages listeners to keep pressing on towards heaven while the jubilant "Glorious King" sings of God's eternal nature. "Beautiful God" pushes the envelope more than any other song on Born to Worship, with crashing symbols and a unique chord progression. One of the best tunes found here is a cover of the traditional hymn "Amazing Grace." Sarah Kelly's voice soars over a gentle yet stunning arrangement, beautifully finishing this ten song record.
Sarah Kelly's incredible voice and strong songwriting skills are what set her apart from the countless other worship-oriented singer-songwriters today. Though Born to Worship is a well-crafted worship project, it will be exciting to hear Sarah Kelly rocking out again someday.- Review date: 3/31/08, written by Lauren Summerford
Record Label: Gotee Records
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