Written by: Kelly Meade (09/22/2020)
Over the past two decades, Natalie Grant has brought the message of God’s love and hope to listeners worldwide. With her first album release in five years, the highly anticipated No Stranger, she once again shines light into the darkness of the world.
Opening track “Face To Face” is a powerful prayer of someone who has grown weary having been stretched to their limits while still having to face the daily battles of life. The lyrics declare a bold trust in the faithfulness & promises of God believing that He is mightier than anything the world can throw at us and stating a desire to walk “hand in hand” with our Heavenly Father here on earth until we see Him face to face one day.
The album’s lead single, “My Weapon”, calls on the all-encompassing power and strength of God that can break through every stronghold and bind that the enemy tries to hold us down with. When we remember that the Lord is on our side and fighting for us, we know we’ll never have to go into battle alone.
“Praise You In This Storm”, co-written by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns and Natalie’s husband Bernie Herms, may be familiar to listeners as it was originally released by Casting Crowns. Here, Natalie lends her powerhouse vocals to the song of keeping our eyes fixed on our Savior as we navigate the storms in our lives.
“Isn’t He (Jesus Is)” praises the Name of Jesus as it celebrates all that He is and everything He has done; recognizing that He is worthy to receive all the honor and glory in return for the kindness, goodness and wondrous miracles He’s shown us.
Title track, “No Stranger”, tells of how Jesus in all His majesty still understands what we as humans go through. He has experienced pain, rejection and faced temptations and knows exactly what we feel in our circumstances. Because of this, we don’t need to hide anything from Him and can have an everlasting relationship with Him.
At the close of the album, we hear an extended version of “My Weapon” followed by a peaceful instrumental allowing for a time of prayerful reflection.
Throughout No Stranger, Natalie’s stunning vocals shine as do the beautiful musical arrangements that oftentimes lean heavily into orchestral strings providing a powerful background to enhance the meaning of the songs. Themes of praise and meditating on God’s faithfulness, mercy and omnipotence flow from one track to the next. This album does not disappoint and is without a doubt worth the wait for fans of Natalie and also for the Christian music industry as a whole.