Prime Cuts: He Shall Reign (Son of David), I Feel His Love, King Jesus
Indeed love already has had its day when it comes to the life of worship leader and songwriter's Laura Hackett Park. Just as her wedding bells are still ringing as Laura marries fellow worship leader Jonas Park and just before they have had finished honeymooning, out comes her debut album "Love Will Have Its Day." Testifying to how the love of Jesus triumphs over our pain, the title cut "Love Will Have Its Day" is a prophetic piece anchored on faith in Jesus Christ; a song that Park wrote for a friend of hers who was suffering from chronic pain. Such a theme becomes the cornerstone of Park's sophomore record for Forerunner Music. An album that finds her working with Ben Shive (Brandon Heath, JJ Heller & Andrew Peterson) and veteran producer Brown Bannister who has helmed records for Who's Who in contemporary Christian music, including Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Debby Boone, Paul Overstreet, Ellie Holcomb and Michael English.
Making music all of her life, Park eventually became a worship leader at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City, an evangelical missions organization centered on 24/7 worship and prayer. Laura continues to lead worship in the 24-hour prayer room each week, which is streamed LIVE to over 175,000 people a month. Additionally, Park recorded two songs Matt Redman's "Holy" and her original "The Love Inside" (which is also included in this new album) for the 2014 Dove nominated album "Onething Live: Sing Your Praises." More recently, her music caught the attention of Brown Bannister, which led to this current release.
Stylistically reminiscing of Sara Groves and Darlene Zschech (more on her own solo outings than her Hillsong material), Park is the champion of the keyboard-driven balladry worship as opposed to the post-grunge guitar-driven blasts. And if your taste runs in the same gamut of sounds, there's much to entice the ears here. One song that lays a firm grip on the heart is "He Shall Reign (Son of David)." Displaying her deft hand in handling Scripture exegetically, "He Shall Reign (Son of David)" beautifully traces the Messianic promises all the way from the Old Testament to Jesus Christ. And with an Eastern Jewish flavor to the song's indelible melody, Park is to be applauded for such a rich sonic treasure trove. Written with the evils of human trafficking in mind, "King Jesus" bops with an urgency as Park calls upon the justice of God in the face of such evil catastrophe. Featuring a R&B-styled signature time drum beat the quirky sounding "I Feel His Love" has a mysterious allure drawing us deeper and deeper into worship as Park sings about our Father's love.
Most familiar among the lot is the classic worship ballad-to-be "The Love Inside." Starting off slow with the beautiful draw of an orchestrated sound before inviting us to the drama of worship, "The Love Inside" is definitely a highlight. Nevertheless, what lowers the album's enjoyment threshold a tad is that there are far too many slow ballads; and to have them played back to back, they create a sense of sameness that can be soporific. However, written for her beau, "Got Something Goin'" gives the balladry mold a recess with the song's Colbie Caillat-esque modern jazzy pop bounce. While "Anger" is not a song you normally find on a worship record. Dealing with the issue of how we deal with anger, the song speaks of how anger can either lead us to bitterness and revenge or forgiveness and healing at the foot of the Cross.
Most of all, what is most winsome about "Love Will Have Its Day" is Park's ability to get into the issues of life, be it anger, human trafficking, chronic illness and so forth, and laying them down at the foot of the Cross. And this is what a worship album besotted by the Cross of Jesus Christ ought to be like.
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