The young brother/sister duo LaRue return in 2002 with Reaching, their third full-length project on Reunion Records. From the opening guitar and beat of "Tonight," it's clear the musical growth the siblings have experienced. With producer Monroe Jones (Third Day) on board to help stretch their artistic abilities, a stronger, more mature album is the end result. While with their first two projects the mood was more upbeat and joyous, LaRue has chosen a more honest and personal approach. "Unite" is a melodic pop tune encouraging the body of Christ to come together. "Everything" is a musical gem as the layered guitars and Natalie's passionate vocals set up this cry of surrender to God. "I'm tired, I'm tired of running alone... / I give You everything, my heart, my hope, my dreams / I lay them all on the floor / And when I lay them down / You give me your crown of love that I've been waiting for."
"Peace to Shine" is a more upbeat track, most reminiscent of LaRue's earlier work with a mature edge. "OK to Cry" is another highlight encourages their peers that it's OK to mourn during trials and life's darkest moments, "It's OK to cry / God will save us now / Let His presence bring us peace / Lay your burdens down / Let them fall at His feet..." While the overall mood of the record may be darker as they address some serious issues that teens face these days, LaRue makes sure to remind listeners that God will always be there despite our feelings of isolation. "Summertime" is an upbeat pop tune which expresses both Phillip and Natalie's longings for their future soul mates. "Trinity" is a delicate worship song powered by a subdued piano and pounding drum beat. "Without You" is a beautiful love ballad Natalie sings alone to her Savior. Her amazingly passionate and mature vocals, beginning with similarities to Sarah Mclachlin that soon fade, possess accentuate the emotions of the song.
The title track is an infectious and worshipful pop tune expressing Phillip and Natalie's love for Jesus in complete surrender, "And I'm reaching for You / Arms stretched towards You / All these things I bring / And You pursue me / And I surrender / Take, Lord, what You see..." "Angels and Peace" is an intriguing ballad and an appropriate way to close out this amazing disc. Also included on the CD is an abundance of extra goodies including 2 behind-the-scenes videos, wallpapers, photos, a screen saver, and even buddy icons. A wonderful treat for the LaRue fan. Although it doesn't include any music videos, it's probably better in the end considering the musical growth from their previous two recordings to Reaching.
Reaching is by far this duo's best work where their maturity in songwriting is unmistakable, as they reach out to their peers with a message of love and hope in our Savior.- Review date: 10/5/02, written by John DiBiase
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