Reviewed by Adrian B.
Tell Me What You Know by Sara Groves
"For those looking for depth in your Christian music, you won't be disappointed by this truly outstanding album."
If you are looking for a contemporary singer songwriter releasing pertinent albums today, there is none better than Sara Groves. One of the few artists who combines faith and artistry, she is often compared to Ginny Owens and Nicole Nordeman. Lyrically she’s a present day Keith Green. Mix in a bit of both Sarah McLachlan and Aimee Mann, and I still feel that we have just begun to be introduced to Sara.
With the release of her latest, “Tell Me What You Know” from INO Records, she has succeeded once again in composing a piece that reflects the personal stories of pain and suffering she's heard 'round the world—and her desire to do something about it … right now. “Tell Me What You Know” is filled with smartly composed music that is also singable and catchy. Take the radio friendly, “When the Saints”. From the opening line, “Lord I have a heavy burden…when I am weary and overwrought”, to the chorus “when the Saints go marching in, I want to be one of them” she is continually putting a voice to the everyday struggles by her use of metaphors. As she lists what her minds eye sees during prayer time and extols her desire to be a part of both history and the future she takes us along for the ride.
“I want this album to be enjoyable, for people to be able to listen to it in their car and not be heavy hearted about all the ills in the world,” she has said when describing the 11 tracks that make up Tell Me What You Know. “I’ve tried to create music that represents the joy that comes in getting to enter into this work.” This work being the hardship and injustice, she has experienced but also to create music that represents the exuberance in celebrating the hope of what God can and is doing.
When last we heard from Sara with 2005’s Add to the Beauty, she has been writing this new album while exploring the lessons of long defeats, the defiance of hope in the face of insurmountable odds, from the flood ravaged gulf of Louisiana, and the addition of her first daughter Ruby Cate, born mere days after the final songs were mixed. She explains, "I believe God invites us to add to the beauty of his plan, letting us participate in his redemptive work. But I found myself asking, 'How have I applied this idea?' I had groomed and groomed and groomed my personal faith, but to what end?"
Her answers can be heard throughout “Tell Me What You Know”. Sara is not only introspective and lyrically thought provoking but straightforward and easily understood. When listening to “You are Wonderful”, we are given the opportunity to fill in the face and personally answer that question. She is speaking not only to her sons in “Song for My sons” but to anyone who wants to address a child “for when they understand it”.
“Tell Me What You Know” is her most satisfying album to date, she has perfected the art of creating warm, intimate pictures of life, love, faith and hope amid hopelessness that began back in 2001 with “Conversations”. For those looking for depth in your Christian music, this truly outstanding album will not disappoint you.
Adrian B. Martinez: "Music and Movies, Movies and Music, always the twain shall meet" is Adrian B. Martinez's motto; a displaced New Yorker living in Connecticut. A complete Movie nut, Adrian was responsible for writing movie synopsis' for Loews Movie Theater's for over 5 years. At any given time that would be a synopsis for over 25 movies in one week. Whew! Nowadays, she is a regular in the Press area for the Creation Festival and Purple Door Festival. To keep her in the lifestyle she has become accustomed, she does web-design for DelMonico Hatter in New Haven, Ct. and serves as a Supervisor for the Hartford Civic Center, also in Ct. An avid traveler, Adrian has been to Europe numerous times and can be seen criss-crossing the United States in her re-furbished 1974 Orange Volkswagen Vanagon which has allowed her to participate in her favorite past-time, meeting new people….When she does take the time to stop, she spends her time with a very handsome man that goes by the name of Zorro. He can be seen sleeping on the couch, bed, bathing in the sunlight on a window ledge or anywhere else that he deems comfortable. Zorro of course, is her cat.