Prime Cuts: Womb of the Morning, Little Bird, Killing Me with Mercy
In an effort to reach the largest demographic, assumptions are often built into the psyche of worship songwriters as to what congregations like. Thus, it's commonly assumed that the majority of congregants are pop-rock music fans who like their music loud with blaring guitars quipped with grade six level vocabulary devoid of any metaphorical waxing. As a result, a large swath of worship music becomes monolithic and overtly simplistic that they can come across as predictable, trite and mechanical. Thank God for worship leaders like Misty Edwards. "Little Bird" is not your average worship record with the predictable hooks and guitar riffs. Rather, Edwards' music are conversation pieces where she trade lines with the characters in her songs as they reflect upon the grace of God, the frailty of life, the eternity of promises and so forth. And never one to be domesticated by one genre of music, here you will find Edwards exploring various shades of musical styles from singer-songwriter folk to piano balladry to ethereal soft rock.
Misty Edwards has been a worship leader and songwriter at the International House of Prayer since its inception in September 1999, and oversees the leadership and music team. She has been actively writing songs since the age of sixteen, and continues to grow in this art, while encouraging others to do the same. Through worship-leading at conferences and her faithful time of leading in the prayer room, which is streamed LIVE 24/7 to over 175,000 people a month, Misty has impacted thousands with her music. "Little Bird" is Edwards' fourth studio album and this time it finds her teaming up with fourteen time Grammy winning producer Brown Bannister (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and Paul Overstreet).
Opening up the proceedings is a JJ Heller-esque piano lullaby-sounding tune "Womb of the Morning." However, as soon as Edwards sings, it's difficult to fall asleep as "Womb of the Morning" is a heart-hitting and profound treatise of the book of Ecclesiastes set to music. It's a song told from the perspective of a 90-year-old man who feels like his life is still an infant in the light of eternity; this is a song that calls to mind the words of Ecclesiastes that there's more to life than our earthy existence. Steeped in the narratives of the Gospels is the piano ballad "Killing Me with Mercy." Taking its cue from the life of Peter, "Killing Me with Mercy" finds an Edwards astounded by the grace of God despite our failures and betrayals.
With the aid of hand snaps, marimba and xylophone, "Little Bird" is another creative piece this time with an older Edwards writing a letter soaked with Biblical wisdom to her younger self. "Center of the Universe" has a modern jazz feel with its lyrics giving exposition to Psalm 2. "Sound of a Heart," likewise has Scripture, this time Psalm 31, as its seed thought. Though lyrically it's a sincere piece of repentance and faith, the song gets a tad too lengthy (clocking in at over 7 min) with not enough hooks to hold our attention all the way. The retarding guitar stomps of "Companion" allows God to punctuate our lives reminding us that He is always by our side regardless of where we are. Again like "Sound of a Heart," "Companion" would be even more effective if the melodic structures were a little more ear-grabbing and accessible.
"Little Bird," on the whole, is an album that is not domesticated by the standard flares of today's worship music. It's creative, innovative, expansive (in its lyrical scope) and it's heartfelt delivered from a worshipper is acquainted with the pulsating heart of God.
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