Prime Cuts: My Prayer for You, Loved, What a Day
Overall Grade: 4/5
Gorgeously looking sideways with a stoic charm and hued in monochrome, Alisa Turner greets us with her debut full-length Integrity Music album. But these songs do not merely offer a black and white caricature of the Christian faith. Rather, they muscle their ways through heavyweight theological issues such as sufferings, unanswered prayers, disappointments and so forth. And instead of offering simplistic answers; these subjects are dealt with thoughtfully and judiciously through the lens of Scripture and with an attitude of worship. This by itself is already one of the most sublime (and Godly) compliments one can say about a Christian album.
Last summer, Turner tested the waters by releasing a 5-track EP via Integrity Music. As a result, many have warmed up to her especially her testimony of how God has had been her strength as she battles chronic pain due to Lyme Disease. Now, she is back with her debut 13-track album which also includes the 5 songs she has had released. The crew that envelops the making of the album is nothing short of breathtaking. On this record, you will find Turner penning songs with stalwarts of the industry such as Dustin Smith, Stu G (Delirious?), Chris Quilala (Jesus Culture), Joshua Silverberg (Jesus Culture, The Belonging) and Leslie Jordan (All Sons and Daughters).
With Psalm 121 as the song's impetus, "Lift My Eyes" places us at the lookout point of God's greatness. "What a Day" is a personification of creativity. Each verse of this hymn-like anthem situates itself on one of the three most important days in history: Good Friday, Easter and Christ's second return. The issue of divine healing is a matter of great dispute within the church. On "Miracle or Not," Turner doesn't take sides. Rather, she takes the Godly route of vacating her heart to God singing: "At the end of the day/I will stand right here and say/I know that You love me/Miracle or not."
Proving that you don't need theatrics to create a great song, the piano ballads "Loved" and "Forever Holy" are simple expressions of heartfelt worship enhanced by Turner smokey emotional punches. Album closer "Psalm 13," a lament Psalm, is usually not a choice Psalm to turn into a worship song. Yet, it works wonderfully in Turner's hands. As much as Turner excels in ballads, she can also be locked into a certain sonic template. If Turner would take a few more chances, it would give this ballad-heavy record some variegation.
"My Prayer for You" is easily a career song for Turner. Not only does it has a strong melody, but the content of Turner's prayer for her parting friend is God-soaked: May God give you eyes to see He's still greater/Courage to rise and believe He's able. However, if the words were somehow directed to (rather than for) God, this would have been an even mightier worship song.