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Carrie Marshall: I Will Wait
Label: Teardrop Records (Unsigned Artist)
Sound/Style: varied shades of adult pop-rock with worshipful lyrics
By Steve Morley
(UMCom) -- Singer/songwriter/pianist Carrie Marshall leans toward adult-styled fare with ambitious, faith-centered themes in the vein of Twila Paris, though her self-penned works run the gamut from tender, piano-based ballads to meaty pop-rock. Marshall offers songs of devotion, celebration and hope on I Will Wait, a CD that, lyrically, falls somewhere between straightforward worship and personal sentiments. The instantly engaging opening track, "There Is Truth," features a supple, assertive lead guitar and lyrics that challenge the "my God’s okay, your God’s okay" mantra of modern times: "Truth is relative, they say/make no conclusion/don’t cause confusion by telling me fallacies between what you and I believe." After presenting the world’s argument, she counters with the assertion that "truth came to humanity through a man named Jesus Christ," setting the uncompromising tone for the tracks that follow. On "I Will Still Praise The Lord" and "Lay It Down," she dwells on the notion of God as an ever-present help in time of trouble, declaring "In the winter of my soul I will praise you" and "Though evil advances against me, I look to the one who can save me." On "His Eyes Are Watching," Marshall gives the devil his due, exhorting listeners to be ever mindful of the wily nature of the deceiver: "Father of lies/evil disguised/that sweet kitten you see, in reality/is the lion with the evil grin." The jazzy, minor-key cut, while incongruent with the rest of the record, encapsulates the sinister yet alluring quality of temptation and sin.
The singer’s hunger for God’s direction is evident in "Lead Us On" and "We Bear Your Name," a quasi-march that quotes "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" and seemingly offers repentance on America’s behalf. She represents the nurture of the Lord in first-person perspective on the heartfelt "For Just A While," a song for her three children sung over a delicate piano and violin accompaniment. She reaches upward to claim power for a victorious Christian life on "The Overcomer" and realistically confesses on the gospel-flavored "Hangin’ On" that she must "let go with both hands" in order to grasp that power. Her words are edifying and encouraging throughout, covering considerable topical ground and, in the end, rising up as the disc’s central strength. In a manner simple yet effective, Carrie Marshall communicates her steadfast faith and godly desires, a factor which offsets the album’s sedate tendency and the resulting lull midway through. While she takes advantage of the stylistic freedom afforded her as an independent artist, the uneven balance of tempos and styles and the singer’s alternation between alto and breathy soprano vocals all suggest that she’s still forming as an artist. All the same, I Will Wait is brimming with natural giftings and a heart for ministry that is ripe and ready to be mightily used.
Steve Morley is a freelance music journalist living in College Grove, Tenn.
This review was developed by UMC.org, the official online ministry of the United Methodist Church.