Written by: Laura Chambers (11/5/2016)
We are more surrounded by voices than at any time in our history. Not only have the radiuses of our social circles exploded due to social media, but we also have greater exposure to different worldviews and a broader knowledge base than our parents and grandparents did. While this unprecedented access to information can have its advantages – spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ being chief among them – it also has the unfortunate side effect of opening us up to scorn, criticism, and lies. Even when we turn off our computers and phones, those voices still rise from the lips of friends, acquaintances, and Satan. They ring in our ears long afterwards, until eventually we begin to believe them.
As difficult as it may seem to re-align your thinking with the truth, there is a way. By letting God’s word wash over us, by listening carefully to hear His voice above the cacophony, we can mute the lies and begin to re-define the reality we live in. Ginny Owens nudges us a little closer to God’s heart so we will stop believing our doubts and let Love Be The Loudest. Instead of her typical acoustic style, this project gives Owens’ deep lyrics a pop flavor without sacrificing the message; to highlight the differences, she covers two of her previous songs thusly: “If You Want Me To” and “Wonderful Wonder”.
“God Is Love (Intro)” is a short introductory track (29 seconds, to be precise) that serves to illustrate the theme of the album with voices gradually making themselves heard above the clamor. “Coming Alive” compares the desperate state of our hearts and souls before God intervenes with the overwhelming peace and clarity we receive after He fills us with His life. More than a one-time experience, we can receive this afresh when we seek Him in moments of weakness. “The Loudest Voice” implores God’s love to block out every other distraction and deception that could impede us from living out God’s plan for us. It’s got the rousing sound of a pep rally – well, make that a pop rally. “Love Looks Beautiful” inspires our anxious hearts to realize that God’s love for us and ours for Him imparts a glory to our countenance and view. Featuring Ellie Holcomb, it’s a reminder that courage comes when we listen to what He is saying. “The Way God Sees”, featuring Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave, contrasts our negative outlook with God’s more hopeful reality. Though we may focus on what we are lacking, He sees who He made us to be and what He has prepared for us. We’re hardly qualified to voice a different opinion, after all. We must allow Him to change our point of view to His.
“Fearless” seeks direction and strengthening that doesn’t come from within, but rather above. Fear can be dispelled when we surrender it to God, recognizing that His love has the power to empower us. “The Fire” compares the disparate emotions we experience from the heights of joy to the depths of despair. It’s the latter place where we discover how good God is. So however counterintuitive it may seem, we owe so much to our troubles, for it is through them that we experience grace and mercy like no other. “Go Be Light” begins with our inaction and feelings of inadequacy to impact the world and bring healing to others. Instead of waiting for somebody else to handle things, we must fulfill our God-given purpose and shine as a light in the world. It may be difficult, even unsettling, but our calling is clear; to love and heal as the hands and feet of Christ. “Made For Loving You”, featuring Andrew Bergthold, affirms that our purpose is to love, know, and follow God. Once we begin to live in this way, our world takes on a new dimension. Instead of keeping our gifts to ourselves, we feel compelled to bring Him praise. The modest arrangement of this song complements the simplicity of its oddly elusive message.
“How Much More” teams Owens up with Meredith Andrews in this introspective question and answer session, in which they wonder why we are anxious when God cares for the smallest things. We run away from our troubles or try to solve them on our own, but we don’t have to. He cares for us more than we could imagine and will never leave us. “If You Want Me To”’s re-arrangement is carried along by a pounding akin to rolling waves or thunder in the heavens. I think I preferred the original version to this one. “Wonderful Wonder”, featuring Andrew Greer, is a personal song for Ginny, who is blind. Despite not being able to see the beauty of God’s creation (and I suppose, to some extent, we’re all blind), she still is able to declare its glory. Though we cannot see everything from God’s perspective (being neither omniscient or omnipresent) we can still believe His truth. Eventually, whatever our levels of impairment, we will all see God in all His glory someday. Featuring All Sons and Daughters, “God Is Love” delivers a parting thought that ought to buoy us throughout every moment. Instrumentation is at a minimal level to allow this truth to permeate our hearts and our world.
It can never be stated loudly enough how precious God’s love is, nor how much of an impact retaining that fact in the forefront of our minds can have on our actions. Nor has it ever been more crucial, given the increasing volume and pervasiveness of philosophies and diversions that vie daily for our attention. Love Be The Loudest tunes out the drama and amplifies our need for a Savior, sending out a homing signal for our hearts to follow all the way to the cross. Owens presses the pause and reset buttons simultaneously, filling our minds with peace and purpose.
Released: November 18, 2016
Label: Chick Power Music
- God Is Love (Intro) (0:30)
- Coming Alive (3:27)
- The Loudest Voice (3:05)
- Love Looks Beautiful (feat. Ellie Holcomb) (3:39)
- The Way God Sees (feat. Mike Weaver) (4:45)
- Fearless (3:50)
- The Fire (4:18)
- Go Be Light (4:10)
- Made For Loving You (feat. Andrew Bergthold) (3:45)
- How Much More (feat. Meredith Andrews) (3:58)
- If You Want Me To (3:27)
- Wonderful Wonder (feat. Andrew Greer) (4:10)
- God Is Love (feat. All Sons and Daughters) (2:27)
13 tracks, 45:31
Buy on iTunes
More from Ginny Owens:
- Without Condition (1999)
- Something More (2002)
- Blueprint EP (2002)
- Beautiful (2004)
- Live From New Orleans (2005)
- Long Way Home (2005)
- If You Want Me To: The Best of Ginny Owens (2006)
- Bring Us Peace (2006)
- Say Amen EP (2009)
- Say Amen: Hymns and Songs of Faith (2009)
- Ephemera EP (2010)
- Get In, I’m Driving (2011)
- I Know a Secret (2014)
- Love Be The Loudest (2016)
Links for Ginny Owens: