Listen to the Album Angel In A Haunted House by Will Keizer!
Listen to the Album Angel In A Haunted House by Will Keizer!

JFH Music Review


Amanda Lindsey Cook, House On A Hill
CLICK COVER TO ENLARGE

Amanda Lindsey Cook
House On A Hill



Genre(s): Worship / Alt Pop / Pop
Album length: 10 tracks: 51 minutes, 55 seconds
Street Date: March 29, 2019


READER RATING:   


Canadian worship artist Amanda Lindsey Cook has been releasing music since 2004, with her most recent being Brave New World in 2015. With four solo albums and several vocal awards, she brought a strong resume with her as she joined the expanded Bethel Church worship collective in 2018. In describing her recent absence from social media to prepare for what would become her new album she said, "I just needed to go quiet. I had to lean into the resting place that sound comes from." This year's House On A Hill is what came out of her two months in a house, tucked away in the wooded hills of Nashville. In short, she has revealed an album of ten, deeply personal, ambiently-washed songs. In this reviewer's opinion, the songs are best consumed alone in the quiet places where music can fill the space between the head and the heart. On one hand, the songs have plenty of time to breathe, and get to their destinations slowly, which is exactly the point of Cook's exercise in secluded stillness. On the other hand, the album is a big investment at nearly an hour for a slim ten songs. Though not an album for everyone, those with the patience to stick around for multiple spins will begin to hear nuances within songs, that at first blush could sound redundant.

She kicks the album off with "Awakening" and its surprisingly mid-tempo pace, until the last third of the song. At that point, the song builds to a drum crashing crescendo with accompanying guitars and impassioned vocals from Cook, producing a satisfying beginning to the album. Another highlight, "Not Going Anywhere," brings with it a musical backdrop akin to veteran artist Plumb, or more recent solo artist Ledger. Within, she reminds herself that God isn't going anywhere "even when fear is standing on my chest." The power of her vocals as she nears the last minute of the track sets the tone for the album perfectly. From there, Cook slides into the piano based title track, "House On A Hill," which contains this heartfelt thought from the Father to His daughter, "Allow me to introduce myself again/I'm the One that knew you before time began/I've been waiting for you to let me be your friend/Everything you every need is everything I am/I Am, I Am, I Am." "Water Under The Bridge" is another standout, featuring synthesizer accents and a message on forgiveness. Perhaps intentional, "Water Under The Bridge" is the shortest song, with the least amount of lyrics. I find this fascinating in regards to other song titles and topics like "The Clearing" and "Evergreen." Could it be that Cook is offering a nod to the initial act of forgiveness, which offers immediate relief, but will often require a regular choice to forgive with each new day? Maybe not, but it struck me in that fashion, and it is worthy of further consideration. Last song of note is "I Am - Because You Are," which is a plea to be "taken back to simple things/where innocence was everything/like a child my song would be unrehearsed/wild and free." Thunderous drums return, and Cook's soaring voice gives way to a tender ending, guided by sweet vocals and piano as she sings, "I'm loved because You're love/and that will be enough."

Not everything is perfect on House On A Hill; as previously mentioned, to get the best from the album, it will require a large time investment. Some songs like "Comforter," "Evergreen," and "Love Will Never Fail" are borderline forgettable musically, though they all contain worthwhile lyrical messages. Also, some work still needs to be done to pair Amanda's voice better to the faster paced songs, as she shines best in the slow or mid-tempo groove. All things considered, this is a solid release from a fantastic vocalist that shares her personal journey with anxiety, fear, doubt, and walking in forgiveness to the benefit of those with similar struggles.

As a more personal expression of worship, House On A Hill is not as corporately accessible as other releases in the genre, but it still has great value to the body of Christ. This is an album for truly quiet times, and this listener found that the best experience with the album was as worshipful background music, or in a set of headphones to catch the quiet subtleties. House On A Hill is certainly recommended for fans of Amanda Lindsey Cook, or to those in search of contemplative, gentle encouragements, marked by a terrific singer. This reviewer has been touched by the following sentiment from the title track, "some things you can't know till you're still." Would it be that we all get away to slow down from the manic pace of life to "be still and know that He is God." (Psalm 46:10)

- Review date: 3/27/19, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com


Listen to the new single by Jeremy Lopez!

 

. Record Label: Bethel Music
. Album length: 10 tracks: 51 minutes, 55 seconds
. Street Date: March 29, 2019
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: Amazon.com (CD)

  1. Awakening (6:25)
  2. Evergreen (4:38)
  3. I Am - Because You Are (5:50)
  4. Not Going Anywhere (5:01)
  5. House on a Hill (6:04)
  6. Comforter (6:02)
  7. Lover Never Fails (4:56)
  8. The Clearing (5:17)
  9. Water Under the Bridge (3:38)
  10. The New Country (4:51)

 

 JFH Album Sample Player

  • data-free="false">

 



Leave a Comment

comments powered by Disqus

 

 

go to main Album review page
go to Album review archive

 


(JFH Sponsor Spot)

 

 

           
Listen to the new single by Jeremy Lopez!

Search JFH




This Friday, September 24, 2021
Bethel Music Homecoming (Live) [Bethel]
Mark Bishop Some Distant Mountain [Crossroads]
Blest Testimonio - EP [Integrity]
Marica Chisholm Higher - Single [DS2 Music Group]
Stephen Christian King of Impossible - Single [BEC]
Citizens The Joy Of Being Together [Integrity]
Riley Clemmons For The Good - Single [Capitol CMG]
for KING & COUNTRY For God Is With Us - Single [Curb/Word]
Kirk Franklin Lean on Me (Worldwide Mix) [feat. The Compassion Youth Choir] - Single [RCA]
Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music Jonny x Mali: Live in LA (Stereo) - EP [Life Room Label]
Leigh Nash The Tide, Vol. 1 - EP [Visionary]
Kevin Quinn Fuego En Mi Interior - Single [Capitol CMG]
Brian Reith Now Is Not Forever "Reimagined" EP (independent)
River Valley AGES Honest - Single [BEC]
Selah One Name - Single [Integrity]
Jordan Smith Be Still & Know EP [Reunion/Provident]
Switch Better View, Part I - EP [Essential Worship]
Thrive Worship Let's Have Church EP [Integrity]
Chris Tomlin Emmanuel: Christmas Songs Of Worship [Capitol CMG]
Village Lights Promised Land - Single [Integrity]


Next Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Smalltown Poets NWxSE [Friendly City]


Next Friday, October 1, 2021
Caroline Cobb A King & His Kindness [Integrity]
Jon Foreman Roll Tape: Live From Melody League Studios (independent)
Gaither Vocal Band All Heaven & Nature Sing [Gaither]
Brandon Heath Human Nature (Acoustic Version) - Single [Centricity]
Mat Kearney January Flower (Deluxe Edition) [Tomorrow]
MŌRIAH Trust - Single [Cathedral]
Newsboys Stand [Capitol CMG]
Relent Heavy [Rockfest]
Anne Wilson My Jesus (Live from Nashville) EP (CD) [Capitol CMG]

For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the new single by Katie Lighty!




Listen to the new album from KAINA!