Nothing Short of Amazing
For a Christian album, this as-yet-undiscovered pop feast from singer/songwriter Staci Frenes has a troubled heart. Lovelorn lyrics are not something to be expected from Christian music, and Frenes’s decision to openly sing about her romantic wounds gives her CD a broader appeal. It also makes the songs more relatable.
The problem with most Christian radio hits is that the tunes are preaching to the converted, or at least drawing people in who are already interested in seeking the Lord. In Frenes’s songs, however, her spiritual longings complete, but do not saturate, the lyrics. For example, on “Imagine That,” Frenes tells a friend to let go of a painful past: “Picture this inside of you/When all the blame that’s chasing you is just a memory/Like water under the bridge, baby, don’t look back.” Notice how God is not mentioned at all? She saves that for a single powerful line: “Wash your sins in refreshing grace, then release them.”
Frenes is doing a balancing act here, appealing to both Triple A and Christian audiences; thankfully, her work doesn’t sound calculated. Her decision to follow in God’s path is given depth by the literary writing of her words. “With a leap of faith I jump across to the other side/So much to gain compared to all I leave behind,” she sings on “The Great Divide.” Her lyrics are far more reliant on metaphor than her usually straightforward and blatant peers. This is a Christian album for people who can’t stomach Christian music.
Staci Frenes: www.stacifrenes.com