Saturday, July 7, 2012

Introducing Katie Gustafson Review

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Katie Gustafson is a Nashville-based therapist. It wasn’t until her high school years and her family’s move to Nashville that Katie began writing her own songs; and it was a few more years later, after her graduation from college with a counseling/ psychology degree that she began recording her songs. Introducing Katie Gustafson is her debut EP with Kingsway Records.

If several of the songs off this Introducing… EP sound familiar, it’s probably because “Isaiah 55” and “Be Still My Soul” both appeared on Leigh Nash’s Hymns and Sacred Songs album last November. These songs are Katie’s, and hearing them sung by the original writer is definitely a treat!

“Isaiah 55” kicks off the album, practically this passage of Scripture put directly to Scripture. With nice harmonies and Katie’s beautiful vocals, the highlight is definitely the chorus, which is easy to get lost in: “We will bless the Lord and we will be led forth/ there’s nothing You can’t do/ there’s nothing You can’t do, Oh Lord!” This opening track is a perfect way to be introduced to Katie’s music!

“Amazing God” has a country feel to it, which is rather cool. The lyrics, themselves, are simple, as Katie contemplates the faithfulness and awesomeness of our God, but the fun tempo gives it a feel of one of the classic worship songs that Integrity music released decades ago. Following, “Beautiful Jesus (Love Over Me)” is more acoustic, but is a love song to Jesus for the love that He has shown to us. It borrows its bridge from Romans 8, reminding the listener powerfully that nothing can separate us from that love of God.

“Wonderful to Me” and “Hallelujah to the Lamb” are both deep songs of worship for all of God’s love, kindness, and mercy toward His children. Particularly, in “Hallelujah to the Lamb,” Katie’s vocals are higher than they are in the rest of the EP, vibrating and sounding very angelic! I expect this is the type of music we will hear in heaven for all eternity.

“Be Still My Soul,” sounding very hymn-like, follows excellently. It does sound very much like Leigh Nash’s cover (no surprise), and leads in to the closing track “Back to You,” speaking that “the hardest part is being far from You,” and speaks of returning to Him for quietness and rest. The background vocals make this closing track very heavenly.

Introducing Katie Gustafson is full of seven intimate love songs to the Savior. Though personal to Katie’s heart, they are songs that will have the listener singing along after just one listen, crying out to the King of kings with these songs. I truly believe that Katie Gustafson’s music is something special, and you should join me in looking forward to a full-length project from her sometime soon!

Rating: 4/5
Release date: July 10, 2012

Track listing:
1. Isaiah 55
2. Amazing God
3. Beautiful Jesus (Love Over Me)
4. Wonderful to Me
5. Hallelujah to the Lamb
6. Be Still My Soul
7. Back To You

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