A fresh offering of praise I canít get out of my head | Posted August 29, 2013 Staff Reviewer
A native of rural Virginia, Independent artist Morgann McClanahan grew up exposed to a rich, eclectic musical mashup of backwoods church music and Top 40 icons like Alanis Morissette and Jason Mraz. Morgann aims to create songs that inspire listeners and refresh the soul. What I Do is a great new collection of very heart-felt and introspective songs. What's great is how the album sounds very original and yet familiar at the same time.
The opening track "What You Have To Say," is an engaging song with Morgann's passionate vocals setting the tone for this solid effort with the confessional lyrics, "What You have to say, what You have to say / Speak the words, God, I want to hear what You have to say.. " Like her musical influence Jason Mraz, the reflective opener has a super-catchy musical vibe and is a wonderful prayer-song about finding regular strength and courage in God's faithful kindness and listening to “what God has to say.” Every song is a great reminder for followers of Jesus trying to live out their faith.
Ukulele led “Perfect Will” has a “One Drop” by Plumb musical feel, and Morgann trusts in the Lord throughout the song and offers herself as a living sacrifice as she prays, “Gray skies, blue skies— my sun’s shining / When I’m in Your perfect will.” “Share” features gorgeous harmonies by Jimmy Needham, and expresses the prayerful truth of Ecclesiastes 3:1—“Life is only temporary / So I’ll enjoy it while it’s there /It’s a season of blessing that You lend me, Thank You for, thank You for letting me share.”
“What I Do (Hallelujah)” keeps the upbeat musical flow going and firmly establishes the thesis statement of the album—“You love praise and that’s what I do, give a little, lift a little up to You, singing hallelujah, hallelujah! You love praise, so that’s what I do / Give a little, lift a little up to You / Singing hallelujah, hallelujah (to the Lamb of God).” Psalm 102:18 (NKJV) is the biblical inspiration for the song, which proclaims “This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord.” This song truly is a fresh offering of praise that I can’t get out of my head (a good thing.) Morgann brings home the infectious message of the song in the bridge, “I can’t contain it, God, Can’t hold Your greatness, God, Under a bushel, got to proclaim it every chance I’ve got / 'Cause You’re amazing, God / So call me crazy, but that’s what I was born to do—To be a little crazy about You.”
I can't get enough of the prayerful and vulnerable Adele-like musical style song of surrender to Christ in "That’s All" which has already become one of my personal worship anthems with the piercing words: "That’s all, that’s all / I’ve got nothing to dread /‘Cause You have carved out each step /Tell me what in the world could I ask more than that? That’s all, that’s all." The upbeat and melodically-soaring track "That’s All" is a poignant statement about finding God's transcendence and is a reminder to “not worry” in daily difficulties. You’ll feel the emotion so poignantly expressed by Morgann as she passionately cries out "Yesterday is over now / Tomorrow takes care of itself /The only thing I’m worried ‘bout Is me and You today…."
Morgann's vocals and heartfelt sincerity in many of the songs including "Calling For You" cause me to hang on every word she brilliantly sings. The lyrics based on Psalm 139 reflect God calling out to us, closing out this mesmerizing album with the reflective chorus—"I’m calling for you / And I’m not letting go until I know I’m breaking through / ‘Cause I love you too much to ever give up on you." Morgann pours her heart out in every single song which allows listeners to eavesdrop on her expressing her deep feelings, insecurities, and desires for holiness directly to God. I really enjoy how this album tells the story of redemption as each song gives a glimpse of how Morgann offers her Psalm-like prayers to God in the style of David dancing before the Lord.
If you are looking for the words to express your feelings to God, these songs are a wonderful companion. These are the most transparent, vulnerable and authentic songs I've heard in quite a while. If you like indie-pop style "gourmet" singer-songwriters Adele, Ingrid Michaelson, JJ Heller and Audrey Assad, you need to check out Morgann McClanahan. This entire album is loaded with relatable lyrics, incredible singing and prayerful themes about what it means to be a child of God. Musically, the album features a great mix of laid-back indie-pop and singer-songwriter folk style music. Give What I Do a few deep listens and you'll love it. I hang on every single word and the stirring vocals, prayerful lyrics and musical arrangements are breath-taking.
Song to download now: “What I Do (Hallelujah)” - https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/what-i-do-ep/id686526969