Beauty In The Broken
Sparrow Records, 2006
REVIEW BY: Daniel Camp
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/16/2008
Modern contemporary Christian music suffers heavily from too much of the same thing. If you were to simply browse the shelves at the typical Christian bookstore or at Wal-Mart, you would likely find light rock, often Southern, and gospel. If you continued into the secular section of music, you would also likely find that some of the artists you had identified previously as Christian have in fact been categorized otherwise by corporate bigwigs due to the subtleties of these groups’ lyrics.
Starfield is a thankful reprieve from the monotony, and a fantastic band, to boot. Though their self-titled debut album made noise in some CCM circles, Beauty In The Broken is for all intents and purposes the starting point. Lush, rich melodies combine with an equally majestic message to deliver a truly wonderful listening experience.
As with most CCM albums, the praise songs are in abundance here. “The Hand That Holds The World” seems a sincere cry out for love from a heavenly Father, surrounded by excellent instrumentation and vocals. Chris Tomlin lends a hand to the group with “Son Of God,” a beautiful worship song. I remain shocked that I’ve never heard this ballad sung in a church service (with the exception of services in which I led the music) because of the truth and simply love of its message. “Great Is The Lord” and “Glorious One” finish out the praise and worship of the album nicely. Neither song is spectacular, but both echo the theme of a mighty, loving God competently and take nothing away from the overall message.
The real strength of the album, however, comes from the songs in which Starfield cries out to an uncaring world regarding the world’s indifference to Christians, as in “My Generation,” the standout opening track. “Unashamed” carries on this theme brilliantly.
“Everything Is Beautiful” and “Shipwreck” are both gorgeous, alternative musical dramas. Starfield’s message of faith is simply stated in the former: ‘I don’t need a miracle to believe.’ Such a point echoes the Biblical story of the centurion who trusted Jesus to heal his servant with just a word, and the songs are true blessings for the soul.
“Love Is The Reversal” is my favorite track, a catchy rocker about the unfairness and beauty of both life and grace. This, while not the most musical song on the album, is the one you’ll have stuck in your head afterwards.
Overall, Starfield has managed to compile a collection of songs that bless not only the heart, but the CCM genre. If more bands can continue in the direction they are headed, then CCM will soon be scaling new heights.