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Love and War by Barlowgirl

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Review of Love & War
Review of How Can We Be Silent

The Advocate

Love and War by Barlowgirl

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"...a must-have for all BarlowGirl fans! It is their most musically adventurous album to date."

Rebecca, Alyssa and Lauren of BarlowGirl present to us an overt dichotomy: bold and aggressive contrasted with tenderhearted transparency. They have a warrior-like approach to their music. It is this passionate obedience reverberating throughout their third release, Love and War.

At first listen, Love and War appears contradictory . . . but listen a little closer and you’ll find the songs embodying the hope and love we have for God and for those who are experiencing unbearable difficulties.

Alyssa states that, “The time is now to rise up and to get what God has for us. The time is now to rise up and learn what it means to be loved by God, to learn what it means to be set apart, to learn what it means to embrace our destiny and embrace our calling to the extreme. That is the thread running through all of these songs.” The piano introduction to a couple of their songs is a perfect way to enter into the richness of the lyrics.

The sonic sounds of Love and War closely align with earlier BarlowGirl titles while still remaining true and strong with their lyrical content. The revealing ballad 'Beautiful Ending', their heartfelt plea in ‘Stay With Me’ and the Beatles-like ‘Our Worlds Collide’ certainly has hit potential, although that isn’t important to the three sisters. Six years into their musical ministry, Lauren can’t imagine making these memories with anyone else . . .“I’m just so blessed to be able to live this life with my family.”

With its haunting piano introduction accented by the staccato of the percussion, “Beautiful Ending,” is a revealing ballad displaying an emotionally weighted story as well as the sisters’ gorgeous, harmonizing vocal blend.

The achingly beautiful ballad “Tears Fall” touches on the very sensitive subject of abortion, and yet God’s truth is clearly presented in this emotionally driven song: “ . . . And all our claims to freedom have become just heavy chains and in the name of rights, we keep filling nameless graves.” This song is a very poignant call to action and repentance.

Love and War, produced by friend Otto Price, is a must-have for all BarlowGirl fans! It is their most musically adventurous album to date. Alyssa states, “We feel like this is our coming out CD. It’s like something happened to us that we can’t totally put into words yet, but we’ve grown up.”

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.