Album Review :
Kate Hurley - Sleeping When You Woke Me

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Artist: Kate Hurley
Album: Sleeping When You Woke Me
Label: Worship Circle Records
Release Date: January 15, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Tree Branch
2. When He Dreams
3. Come Quickly
4. Only Your Love
5. Hey Little Girl
6. Tell Me
7. You Are Not Alone
8. Come to Me
9. Maybe
10. Passionate Beautiful
11. Always Have You
12. My Angel
13. Jacob’s Ladder
14. Stronger than Death
15. When You Carry

Seeing that this CD was labeled as “Worship,” I was almost afraid to open it. The word worship has come to be a cheap excuse for generic lyrics and music that is mediocre at best, rather than an actual form of glorifying God. I first listened to this record during a game of cards, and before hitting play I told my group that it was the first time I was listening to it, so I apologize if it’s terrible. Over the next 51 minutes, I was very relieved to find out that Kate Hurley actually makes music worth listening to.

But it wasn’t until a few listens later that I really became attached. The difference was paying attention to the lyrics. In the folk-styled “Tree Branch,” Kate asks God to return her passion for Him. The beautiful, piano-led “Come Quickly” is a prayer about feeling comfort in God and wanting Him to come back soon. One of my favorites is the bluesy “Only Your Love,” which talks about how life-changing Jesus’ love is. There are 15 songs on this release, and I can’t say that one of them is worth skipping. There are some faster upbeat folk songs with harmonica and drums, some slow and passionate piano ballads, and a few mid-tempo acoustic tracks. “When You Carry,” which sings of the end times and looks forward to the day when “Every knee will bow down low, Every voice will cry Lord Jesus,” even has a very bluegrass feel to it.

Leave it to the underground independent artists to have the most heart and the most creativity. In a nation where Christianity is an industry, Kate Hurley finds a way to ignore the easy route of glamour and fame and returns to the roots of 1960s and 70s rock music, and more importantly, the roots of an ageless faith. Her songs are equally thought-provoking and emotional. Many of her songs are inspired by events from the Bible, and others are desperate cries to our Savior. Pick this record up and join Kate as she sings “The most beautiful thing I have ever seen is Your love for me, written with nails at Calvary, poured out in red that washes clean, so strong that death has bent its knee.”

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