TAYA “For All My Life” Album Review
Prime Cuts: Sorry to Grieve You Go, Glory Hallelujah,
Overall Grade: 3/5
The name "Hillsong" is in dire straits. The sex scandals, the abuse of volunteers, the extravagant lifestyles of leaders leading to high-profile court cases, resignations, and firings, has had an adverse impact on their music. Hillsong Worship and UNITED's latest albums all fail to chart into the top 10 terrain. The much-hyped UNITED's Are We There Yet? only debut at a paltry position of #18. None of the three ensuing singles even cross over into the top 20 threshold. Another sign that the megachurch is losing its grip is that many of the leaders are desperately trying to make a name for themselves by releasing solo albums. Brooke Ligertwood, Benjamin Hastings, and now TAYA are trying to carve something for themselves before the roof collapses.
TAYA, is best known for singing UNITED's #1 hit "Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)," has teamed up with Vertical Worship's Jon Guerra to co-write and co-produce this debut effort. Sad to say, For All My Life falls into the trappings of the same sound as many female singer-songwriters in the worship genre. Like many of her peers, the songs are mostly slow keyboard-driven ballads with demure introductions before giving way to a bombastic chorus. But the major problem isn't so much the songs' template, it's that her music has moved so far from her mother church's. While Hillsong is known for their catchy singable worship entries, these songs are just the opposite.
This is not to say that there are no spurts of goodness. The soulful "Sorry to Grieve You God" is a prophetic lament about the events of 2020 that shone a spotlight on racism, a lack of compassion for those who are different than us. "Getaway," written from the perspective of God, is a creative invitation for us to rest in him. Co-written with Switchfoot front man Jon Foreman, the pop centric "Carry Me Home" has perhaps strongest melodic structure. With a jazzy undertone enhanced by the piano punctuations, "Glory Hallelujah" has a hopeful disposition written for the singer's former teacher, who is grieving the loss of her son.
Despite several high point, there is a same-ness that pervades through. Even after multiple plays, none of the songs here actually registers. The album itself isn't bad per se, it's just that it's not memorable. In twenty-years' time, will people hum to any of these tunes, like they have had with "Shout to the Lord" or "Mighty to Save"? I guess the answer is obvious.
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