Prime Cuts: Gravity, Decided, The Field
Overall Grade: 5/5
Kristene DiMarco likens the listening of The Field to looking into a mirror. As the mirror shows us our lines and wrinkles, these songs reveal the crevices and cracks in our lives with stark honesty. These 12 tunes not only showcase the vulnerability of life and the fragility of our circumstances, but they also reveal the abiding presence of Jesus. It is in him that we find our fortitude in every storm that we may face. DiMarco not only has a hand in crafting all the songs here, but she has invested her heart and soul into this project. She even tells of how she recorded the song "Idle Idols" with tears in her eyes. And her emotional investment shows: the cracks in her voice and the way she waxes emotions behind her phrasing all testify to the fact that these lyrics are not just a phone-in affair. Rather, she has lived through every syllable of this project.
The best song on this record is also the album's lead single "Gravity." In our society of convenient acquaintances, it's easy to see God that way. "Gravity" challenges that perception: God's care and concern for us isn't skin-deep. Rather, it's deep "with gravity." "What If Jesus" continues to blast our preconceived notions of Christ with potent lines such as "What if Jesus desires mercy/While I'm busy judging others for their deeds?" The aforementioned "Idle Idols" is one of the very few contemporary worship songs that deal with the issue of idolatry, a theme that is prevalent in scripture. Idolatry, as a theme, is not normally tackled because it's subtle. Take a listen to "Idle Idols" for the song's lyrically brilliance of capturing what idolatry really means in our culture of self-righteousness and pride.
Whilst DiMarco's debut album has been criticised for its overindulgence in ballads, here she has included the bouncy country-esque "You Are My Country," which is infectiously catchy. Not bad too is the beat-driven pop ballad "Revolution." Quipped with lots of allusions to scripture, "Revolution" speaks of how Jesus changes our lives. Speaking of the Bible, "Don't Pass Me By" was inspired by the story of the blind man on the road in Mark 10 who cried out "Son of David, have mercy on me!" The song is about the possibility of missing Jesus entirely by stubbornly clinging to ideas or even true facts themselves.
Co-written by DiMarco with David Leonard and Tony Wood, "Decided" is a prayer for courage "to walk through the weight of today." This prayer is deserving of being prayed daily. For DiMarco, Jesus isn't just her savior, but he is her savior that she cherishes and loves deeply. You can't help but be enamoured by such a love on the title cut "The Field." For those who want an artist who contemplates, feels, and expresses her love for Jesus that is more than superficial and for those who want songs that go deeper than the latest cliches, don't miss The Field. This album is a gem.