Natalie Grant “Hurricane”

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Anybody who has ever written a song lyric based on their own struggles will tell you that it can be painful and healing at the same time. Several times I’ve done that very thing; there’s just something that makes it different, more personal than being inspired by a TV show or news report. Natalie Grant wrote 8 out of the 10 songs on her latest album, drawn from her struggles with postpartum depression as well as other challenges. Hurricane takes you into the depths of her mind, heart and soul, offering the same hope she’s found in Christ to anyone facing perilous times.

“Closer To Your Heart” throws us directly into the middle of the storm with a catchy melody nevertheless. Despite being overwhelmed by chaos, Natalie reaches out to God and longs for closeness through the trials. It’s the moment where you realize you’ve been heading towards fear instead of faith and do a 180 into God’s arms. “Hurricane” reassures us that we are never lost or abandoned in our storms. God knows exactly where we are; all we have to do is reach for Him, cry out to Him. Instead of soldiering on by ourselves or cowering in fear, we must lean on His strength to see us through. “For All Of Us” takes a victorious turn, praising God for giving His life in our stead. She emphasizes the point that the fruits of Christ’s death on the cross are available to all. I love this one and fully expect come Easter it’ll be a popular church song.

In “Whisper”, Natalie confesses she has the tendency to expect every word God speaks to be obvious and easy. We look for the big sign, the confirmation of what we already want to do. In the process, we can miss God’s quiet voice, the one that subtly prods us to do something difficult or strange. The rewards for listening and obeying far outstrip any negative consequences. “Burn Bright” tenderly addresses a friend who’s slipping away, reassuring them that God has created them for more than they can see. A gentle nudge for someone whose light is being extinguished by failure and discouragement, heartache and wrong choices. “This Is Love” calls us to inject love into dark places in the name of Christ. The hope we have in Christ is a balm to weary hearts; who are we to hold back what has been so freely given to us? When others see our love, they will see God.

“Born To Be” features Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts (a band I’ve only encountered via “Walk The Llama Llama” on “The Emperor’s New Groove” soundtrack). We were created in the image of God with the task of reflecting His glory and living for Him. Sadly, our purpose eludes us at first; we surrender to fear and sin long before we choose God. The chorus takes the form of a heartfelt prayer asking Jesus to lead us to become all He intended us to be. Joy pours out in “Dead Alive”, a song that’s hard to pin down as it jumps all over the place. Devotion to God seems to be the underlying theme as Natalie recounts all that He’s done and is to her. “When I Leave The Room” is a mother’s reassuring lullaby to her child in which she comforts them with the same truths she has learned. It paints a picture of life from beginning to end, full of sweet moments and difficult seasons. The temporary partings of sleep, leaving the nest, and death are all met with the same trust in God for protection and provision throughout. “In The End” reminds us to push on when times get tough, even if we can’t understand. It’s a rousing romp that points to the truth that makes everything bearable; we win! God has delivered the killing blow to evil, and eventually we’ll see the full fruition of that victory.

When the wind is howling and the trees are shaking and bending; when lightning cracks the sky open and rain lashes your face, it can be hard to remember that God even knows you exist, let alone cares enough to rescue and strengthen you. Rest confident that He does, no matter what you’re experiencing. A brilliant reminder like Hurricane wouldn’t hurt. 4.5 out of 5.

Released: October 15, 2013 (Curb Records)

Track Listing:
1. Closer To Your Heart
2. Hurricane
3. For All of Us
4. Whisper
5. Burn Bright
6. This Is Love
7. Born To Be
8. Dead Alive
9. When I Leave the Room
10. In the End
11. Closer To Your Heart (Capital Kings Remix)*
12. This Is Love (Remix)*
13. Hurricane (Acoustic)*
14. I Love the Lord*

10 Tracks, 40:43 (Standard Edition)

*Deluxe Edition Only

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