I am very pleased to say that Philippa Hanna is back with a brand new album.
I have always been very keen to say that Philippa is one of the best Christian Singer / Songwriters that we have in the UK and this album further cements that reputation. Unfortunately for the UK she is soon to be moving to the US for a season so I might have to change that statement! For now however we can be rightly proud of this young lady from Sheffield who is creating very real music that people can connect with.
If you are familiar with her music then you will know that Philippa has always stuck with the acoustic sounds, particularly on her last album “Through The Woods”, but this time she has definitely moved towards a pop style. I use the word ‘pop’ with caution because it is a cover-all term that doesn’t do justice to this album. There is more electronic instrumentation and backing than anything that Philippa has used previously. “Let You Lead” kicks off the album and straight away you hear the difference, gone is the slap / strum of the acoustic and an electric guitar opens up the song. Philippa’s voice is as pure as ever as she sings about knowing that if you trust God He will lead you in the right direction. This is a recurring theme in these songs and I think it’s a well judged and reassuring message that is brought through the songs.
“Arrow” is the second track from this album to be released as a single. This is, once again, Philippa doing what she does well, taking an ordinary object and infusing it with a new meaning about how we see can see life. Raggedy Doll is one of these tracks and this one focuses on the idea of an arrow flying exactly where it is meant to go because it has been released in the way it was intended. What a great picture of the Christian who finds their God given calling and throws themselves into that vision! This is definitely Philippa!
“Even Now” was the first single released from this album. It revisits some of the topics from early on in the album. When life changes unexpectedly and we are weighed down by the thing that has happened we know that even now, at this desperate point we can trust God. This is perfect single material with an incredibly catchy chorus, like so many on this album, and a great sound.
There is an element of worship in all of this album. There are declarations of God’s goodness and our response to his overwhelming passion, and a heart’s cry to reignite the fire of the relationship with God and many more aspects of worship all included here. It took the “It Is Well” track to remind me that these things are embedded in this album as much as the relatability of the topics and the brilliant song-writing.
Through this album each song is different and the tracks move us forward “faster than the speed of light” with driving beats and rhythms that sound fantastic. Using picture language and some fantastically catchy hooks these songs all stand out in their own ways. What Philippa has managed to do is cross the boundary out of the more acoustic sound and yet keep her unique style of writing and effortless, passionate performance. Philippa is all about crossing boundaries and I believe she is doing this a lot with how she has approached her career crossing between secular concerts and overtly Christian concerts.I am sure that her attitude and the way Jesus shines through her (and Joel) when she is speaking and singing will draw many new followers not just of her music, but also of the One she lives to serve.