Written by: Laura Chambers (8/23/2017)
One of the more familiar passages of the Bible notes that there is a season for everything, swinging back and forth on the pendulum from bliss to gloom, giving to taking. While these transitions are a natural part of our lives, they can lead to feelings of emotional whiplash as we vacillate between what we know to be true and how we perceive our situation, emotionally and rationally. We find in our bittersweet experiences what it truly means to be Human. Holly Starr’s album of the same name explores the mystery of a life lived somewhere in between the felt and the known.
“Bruises” is a love letter to those wounded by sticks, stones, and the spoken word alike, reminding them that the damage inflicted on them by others doesn’t define their identity. Instead of running away from the storm, we can hold onto the truth that there is beauty in every one of us. Born out of Starr’s personal struggles with anxiety, “Run The Race” encourages us to keep fighting even when it appears as though we’re losing our fight, because our reward is closer than we think. God created us to endure our trials until the end. Our testimony will be formed by the choices we make, whether we forfeit or persist. “Umbrella” comes from a happier place in her life; the moment she began to fall in love with the man who is now her husband. She recalls being sheltered by an umbrella he was holding, and recognizing the kindness of the action. It’s a love she knows will last to the end, because they’ve faced good and bad times together. “Human” is a reminder to make peace with our errors and trials because they form our identity and character. It allows us to experience the grace of God and humble ourselves before Him, both which would be less likely to happen if we could live up to other people’s ideas of perfection.
“You And I” celebrates the bond between siblings and the magical world they inhabit as children, where everything is possible. Inspired by Starr’s relationship with her brother, it’s a tender vow to love and support the first best friends in our lives. The chorus speaks of her admiration of her brother’s strength. “Say Yes” asks God to topple the walls we build around our lives, surrendering and trusting Him for the first time. It’s as easy as responding to His offer in the affirmative. We may be waiting for an obvious sign, but God speaks softly to our hearts instead. “Sailing” is a tribute to Starr’s grandmother, also her namesake, a Moroccan immigrant to the United States in the 1950s. She compares her grandmother’s journey to a new land to our pilgrimage through life, as she left all she knew for the unfamiliar. Starr thanks her for the lessons learned through her faithful life and bids her goodbye. Another version of “Run The Race”, remixed by Matthew Parker, concludes the album.
Holly Starr touches on elements of life, faith, courage, and love in this well-balanced examination of what it means to be alive and grow in our relationships with God and each other. Human is an honest, affectionate, and winsome peek through her windows at a full life.
Released: September 15, 2017
Label: Artist Garden Entertainment
- Bruises (3:38)
- Run the Race (3:28)
- Umbrella (3:36)
- Human (feat. Matthew Parker) (3:39)
- You and I (3:29)
- Say Yes (3:36)
- Sailing (4:31)
- Run the Race (Matthew Parker Remix) (3:46)
8 Tracks 29:43
Buy on iTunes
More from Holly Starr:
- Tapestry (2010)
- Focus (2012)
- Everything I Need (2015)