Friday, October 14, 2011


     Listening to an album by Sara Groves is always a pleasant, thought provoking experience.  Her tenth album INVISIBLE EMPIRES (2011, Fair Trade Services) is no exception.  'Miracle' is soothing and piano based: "Lay down your arms/Give up the fight/Quiet our hearts for a little while" and "Let's heal where we couldn't heal/Oh it's a miracle/Love is a miracle."  'Obsolete' is mellow and about struggling with insecurities and finding identity in God: "And you don't know where you stand/And you feel so small and thin/And if you are dismissed/Will another take you in?" and "Are we walking through the streets of invisible empires?/And I know I shouldn't care if I'm out or if I'm in/Cause if I am dismissed You always take me in."  'I'll Wait' is a radio friendly pop song about the importance of seeking the Lord's direction: "I'll wait for You now more than ever/I see it's true now more than ever/I'll wait for You/I don't want to do this by myself/I know I need Your help/And so I'm waiting for You."  'Scientists in Japan' reflects on the power of science and offers a word of caution before proceeding to the next advancement: "Eyes wide open and our jaw on the floor/We see science fiction ain't fiction no more" and "Who's gonna stay here and think about it?/Who's gonna stay, who's gonna stay?"
     'Open my Hands' features acoustic guitar and speaks of a deep trust in God: "I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain/The broken find healing in love/Pain is no measure of His faithfulness/He withholds no good thing from us" and "I am nodding my head an emphatic yes to all that You have for me."  'Precious Again' is a plea for spiritual revival: "Where is the wonder?/Oh sing me the song that's never old/Oh tell me the story never told/Promise that just when love grows cold/You'll make it precious again."  'Eyes on the Prize' is an inspirational song about perserverance that starts off sounding like a black gospel number: "Got my hand on the gospel plow/Won't take nothin' for my journey now/Keep your eyes on the prize/Hold on" and "The way is slow and we've so far to go/Keep your eyes on the prize/Hold on."  'Without Love' is slow and mesmerizing and references 1Corinthians 13: "You can fall on the blade of the martyr/You can give all your possessions to the poor...Without love I have not."
     'Right Now' is less than a minute long is about taking personal responsibility: "I'm tired of blaming everybody else/I'm sorry if I blamed you/I have everything I need to be myself/I have what I need to love you."  'Mystery' finds Sara relinquishing self-effort: "My body's tired from trying to bring You here/And my brow is furrowed tryin' to see things clear/So I'll turn my back to the black and fall/And wait for the mystery to rise up and meet me."  'Finite' concludes the album.  With this song Sara explores womanhood: "What God meant by woman I'm hard pressed to find" and "I'm finite/I come to an end/I'm finite/I cannot pretend." 
     INVISIBLE EMPIRES is a thoughtful, introspective album that encourages the kind of spiritual growth in believers that will cause them to positively impact the world in which they live.  Sara's voice is in top form and is pleasing to the ears.  I'm rating INVISIBLE EMPIRES 90%. For more info visit: or The album drops in stores Tues, Oct 18, 2011.