“Once darkness was our guide
without hope and only night (Isaiah 42:16)
We heard the call and turned to you
Now the veil and been removed (Hebrews 10:20)
Jesus we will throw away our lives to follow you (Matthew 4:20)
Struggling in your strength, resting in your truth (Psalm 73:26)
Jesus, you’re so beautiful, you give vision to the blind (John 9:25)
You in us, the hope of glory, in you we will abide (Colossians 1:27)
Though the body waste away
Inside we’re renewed, as you remain (2 Corinthians 4:16)
The hope of glory far outweighs
The light affliction of our days (Romans 8:18)
Jesus we will throw away our lives to follow you
Struggling in your strength, resting in your truth
Jesus, you’re so beautiful, you give vision to the blind
You in us, the hope of glory, in You we will abide
With hope for tomorrow
We fight through today
With energy and happy word (?)
We lift our hands and say
The mystery is known
Jesus you’re on the throne
Darkness is overthrown
Help us to make you known
To make you known”
The above lyrics indeed read like a prayer (see the interview below). You’ll rarely hear rich lyrics like these on Christian radio. They simply don’t fit the mold of typical radio play. In some sense, Christian radio often parrots secular pop music, communicating to the lowest common denominator. Not necessarily in a demeaning fashion, but with lyrics and melodies that are easy to understand at first take. In the same way, simple lyrics often permeate pop music airways, telling the most basic of stories, leaving listeners with a keen ear wanting for something beyond the mundane, wanting more. Perhaps it plays into the spirit of anti-intellectualism that tends to permeate modern culture and some sectors of American Christianity.
Enter Liz Vice, who turns typical gospel music on it’s head. Her new album, “There’s a Light”, breaks through cultural barriers and shines new light on what gospel music could be without the preconceived ideas of what it’s supposed to be. Vice’s indirect entry into gospel music may very well be the reason for her unique sound. It’s out-of-bounds for most gospel music in a number of ways: One Song Interview. Almost “beyond the pale”.
Not only is the production as strong as typical secular music, but the tunes are catchy and melodic. It’s good from beginning to end. No need to skip tracks.
Whereas most secular music was born out of gospel, blues, and jazz, Vice enters from the opposite direction. Using gospel music as the base (lyrically), she re-infuses smoky, gritty, blues and soul music back in. As odd as Christian blues may sound, it works. Incredibly well.
Her lyrics are thoughtful, wise, and challenging. Her voice is retro-soulful. Each song is jam-packed with uplifting and scriptural-driven themes with very little filler. Her sound is a breath of fresh air.
Why can’t we have it all? Great music, and great lyrics that challenge the listener to think and engage beyond surface level themes. Liz Vice offers a solution.
Have a listen, you won’t regret it.