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Jennifer Knapp
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KANSAS (1998)
Kansas - Click to view! Jennifer Knapp starts off her first CD with her a cappella "Faithful to Me," which conveys so much truth through her beautiful voice and honest lyrics: "Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile ~ To One Who sees past all I see ~ Reaching out my weary hand, I pray that You'd understand ~ You're the only One Who's faithful to me". It then jumps right into "Whole Again", which questions if giving up our life is what God really wants us to do. The driving guitars and soaring vocals of Jennifer all through the CD are worth Kansas itself. "Undo Me", undoubtedly the most famous of Jennifer's songs, conveys a wish for God to take us and have his Holy Spirit use us. Next, the pounding backbeat of "Trinity" calls on the Holy Spirit to help us while telling all kinds of truth about the Trinity through lines such as, "Confess the Lord and the truth shall set you free" and "He died on the cross at Calvary ~ He died to save a wretch like me". "In the Name" tells of the power of the Name of God: "Some trust in chariots ~ But we trust in the name of the Lord our God". Kansas then marvels in the undying grace of God with the catchy guitars of "His Grace is Sufficient". Starting with a quiet, "1-2-3-1-2-3", "Martyrs and Thieves" fearlessly tells of the hardships of spiritual darkness and weakness, while still rejoicing in enduring these hardships, and a bridge with the repeating cry to God, "Can You hear me?" and the resolving "And like a lamp on a hill ~ Lord I pray in Your will ~ To reveal all of You that I can". The groovy, violin-based "Romans", with the coolest violin solo ever in a pop song, is another highlight of the CD, using a great theme from the book of Romans as the chorus: "I don't have to be condemned ~ Jesus saved me from the laws of sin ~ If I fall I'll try again ~ With the Spirit as my guide ~ I'll never have to hide again". Another cry for God to purify her comes from the next cut, "Refine Me", with it's beautiful strings and acoustic guitar. Based on the story of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus' feet in front of the Pharisees, which Jennifer says is what her life has been, "Hold Me Now" holds probably the greatest truth, with the chorus, "I'm weak ~ I'm poor ~ I'm broken, Lord but I'm Yours", and soaring, repeating line "Hold me now". "Visions" dreams of the afterlife in Heaven. The close of the CD returns to the a cappella "Faithful to Me", adding another verse to the song. Jennifer's soaring vocals and honest, truth-filled lyrics make Kansas a great CD for anyone who likes acoustic guitar-based music or worshipful lyrics.
- Dan Ficker
August 1999
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