LifeThirst Music (release date: July 10, 2015)
By Bob Marovich
Restore Me is Laura Kaczor’s (pronounced kuh-ZORE)’s fourth album and first in five years. It extends her work as a Christian songstress who knows just how to craft Billboard-charting gospels.
Kaczor’s voice is lovely to listen to, passionate and pretty, a mashup of Katy Perry sass and Sheryl Crow clarity. She is backed by a thoroughly-produced pop rock sound, courtesy of Dove Award-winning producer Ian Eskelin, and the melodies are likeable if somewhat similar, not wavering much from today’s familiar CCM vibe. The ten selections are deliberately radio-sized and radio-friendly, with bright tempos and straight-to-the-point lyrics that are personal and conversational, discussions with Jesus we are privy to overhearing.
“We Don’t Always Understand,” written by Amy Lewis Strother and Laura Kaczor, is the most lyrically interesting song on the album. Kaczor opens with a subtle reference to the death of a child as an example of staying encouraged and finding God’s purpose in life’s epic tragedies: “We know you have a plan / We don’t always understand.”
The song resonated with Kaczor and her husband, Kelly, because their own child, Samuel, underwent surgery to repair a hole in his heart. It reminded me of the gospel artist who was laid off from his job at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York’s World Trade Center. He wondered why such a thing could happen to him and how he was going to pay his bills. Then, four days later, on 9/11/01, the Towers came down. He would have been at work that tragic day.
Another interesting lyrical twist occurs on “Once and For All.” Kaczor reinterprets this stock phrase as an acknowledgement of the enormity of Jesus’s sacrifice, in that he died “once” and died “for all.”
Restore Me delivers praise, prayer, and gentle reassurance in bite-size chunks of ear candy. Laura Kaczor’s lyric lessons are not hard medicine, surely, but the sweetness with which they are delivered helps listeners more easily digest their life-enriching contents.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “We Don’t Always Understand”