Review Rating: Must Listen! (4.7 / 5)
In the midst of blessings and trials over the years, South Carolina-based songwriter Laura Story has always come forward with worship. Her album Blessings kickstarted her musical career, and with six albums in her discography, it is clear how much Laura adores her Savior. Such love is more than evident in her latest work. Taking from bits and pieces of previous works and old hymns, Open Hands is an album that beautifully weaves a legacy of worship into a new, fresh, invigorating, and joyful collection.
The album kicks off with a bright and bold start with “Awake My Soul.” This originally written worship anthem stands out for many a reason. Perhaps it’s the joyful melody, the light and joyful guitar, gentle drums, and floating keyboard notes. Perhaps it’s the glory-filled lyrics – “A thousand songs are not enough to say how great You are, the glories of Your majesty, the triumphs of Your love.” Regardless, the track engages listeners, inspires an atmosphere of adoration, and is an excellent intro to the collection.
Following is a powerful, impactful expression of surrender – the title track “Open Hands.” Its beauty is in its raw and sincere message, complemented by the calm and gentle guitar and keyboard notes. Mac Powell of Third Day joins Laura across the verses and chorus, adding an extended vocal range to the song. Above all else, the chorus is easily the best part of the song. “Jesus, I surrender all, every victory and loss,” Laura sings, “… take it all, until all I have left is open hands.” Few songs so beautifully express such a level of trust and surrender, thus “Open Hands” deserves the recognition.
“You Came Running” delivers large, pounding drums, passionate keyboard notes, and a beautiful story of Christ’s relentlessness for those He loves. Following is “Give You Faith,” a touching expression of a mother’s desire to show the love of God to her child. Reversing roles, “For The Love Of My King” is a declaration of adoration, drawing inspiration from old hymns, creating a new instrumental setting, and adding original, passionately sung verses.
Towards the close of the album is “Majesty,” a calm yet magnificent worship song. The instrumental emphasis falls on the drums, though the bright guitar and keyboard notes play an important role in developing the melody. Its lyrics are, as expected from the title, a declaration of the glory and majesty of the King of kings. “Majesty, the fullness my soul thirsts to find, may all I am be lost in the depths of who You are, that I may know life true,” Laura sings as the melody swells and escalates. A beautiful track indeed, “Majesty” proves just how much care Laura has taken in writing this album.
The songs on Open Hands stand out for their sincerity and passion. They are clearly the work of someone whose love for the Savior shines clearly in every note and lyric, with intricate detail spread across the collection. Laura’s beautiful vocals propel powerful words and expressions of praise, developing a one-of-a-kind worship album. Whether listening through the album or placing several tracks on repeat, listeners will certainly enjoy the worship experience of Open Hands.