Laura Story has just that, quite a story, but in the church world, we call it a testimony. The Grammy winner’s fifth album already holds a number one single with the title track, featuring a collaboration with her friend and fellow GRAMMY® winner Mac Powell of Third Day.
GRAMMY® award winning artist, speaker, songwriter, author and worship leader Laura Story has a gift for penning songs that connect with people all around the world. Among her successes as a solo artist with her smash hits “Mighty To Save” and “Blessings,” Laura has also penned hit songs for other renowned artists including Chris Tomlin’s “Indescribable.” Her solo artist music debut in 2008 with Great God Who Saves led to four Dove nominations and the award for “Inspirational Album of the Year.”
In 2011, Laura released her sophomore project Blessings. The album and the emotionally powerful title was inspired by her real life trials and adversities, primarily her husband Martin’s diagnosis of a brain tumor. The album resonated with a huge audience and led to whirlwind career highlights for Laura, peaking at the No. 1 album spot for three consecutive weeks on Billboard’s Contemporary Christian Overall chart, topping the iTunes® Christian/Gospel Top Songs chart and holding the No. 1 spot for an impressive 28 consecutive weeks on the Christian charts. The success of the single “Blessings,” which was certified RIAA Gold, includes the GRAMMY® Award for Best Contemporary Christian Song, the Billboard Music Award for Top Christian Song and the Dove Awards for Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Song of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. The song inspired Laura’s first book, “What If Your Blessings Come Through Raindrops?” in 2012. A follow-up book, “When God Doesn’t Fix It, Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn; Truths You Can’t Live Without” and companion bible study DVD and study guide, released last year. God Of Every Story released in 2013 to much acclaim, and her first ever Christmas project God With Us, debuted in October 2015.
Open Hands will debut on Mar. 3, 2017 (although the pre-order began Feb.3). Laura is a worship leader at Perimeter Church outside of Atlanta, GA and lives with her husband Martin and three children.
Rating: Five Out of Five Cookies
Song by Song Review
Awake My Soul (1000 Tongues): A strong percussive musicality carry this worship song along with emphasis on God’s worthiness of all the praise “forever you are worthy.” It reminds me of one of my favorite worship singers, Sarah Pearsons, who has a song of the same name but has different lyrical content.
Open Hands: Featuring Third day lead singer Mac Powell, it is based off Psalm 51. Easy to see why this is the title track because it is gorgeous and definitely puts the listener’s focus on Jesus.
Take it all
Every hope, every dream, every plan
Take it all
Every weight, all the shame and brokenness
Jesus, I surrender all
Every victory and loss
Take it all, take it all
Till all I have is open hands
You Came Running: My favorite off the album, this third track reminds me of another great singer-songwriter in Christian music, Francesca Batistelli. It is my favorite because my personal testimony of faith is God chasing me down with relentless mercy, love, loyalty, and goodness. It’s what makes God’s love unfathomable to the human mind.
Give You Faith: Written to her child, it’s a faith dedication song that is an act of prayer in intercession for the child who is still a newborn. It’s beautifully both lyrically and musically. The piano backtrack carries the song nicely.
For The Love of My King: Soft guitar introduce the ear to this love letter to the King of Kings. It’s another favorite off the album because my love for Jesus knows no bounds.
Death Was Arrested: A song worshipping Jesus’s ultimate sacrifice and based on 1 Corinthians 15:55-56, we know life begins with Him.
Whisper: Psalm 46:10 is the foundation of this praise song because it is about the still, small voice of our Almighty Creater. Soft musicality creates the atmospheric element of a “whisper” throughout the track.
Every Word You Breathe: Taking us back to the Garden of Eden, we visualize God breathing life into Adam and Eve, and with the same notion, God’s word brings life, breathes life.
Extraordinary: Another favorite of mine because it talks about God’s great love being “extraordinary.” Exquisite musicality and vocal usage throughout this praise song.
Grace Abounds: Perfect conclusion to the album, it’s a great song for the times we are living in. It reminds us that no matter the fear-inducing news headlines, we stand on the rock of God’s love for us and how it carries us when we can no longer walk, move, or stand.