Wednesday, January 04, 2012


     Meredith Andrews won the 2011 Dove Award for Praise and Worship Album of the Year for her third and latest studio project AS LONG AS IT TAKES (2010, Word Entertainment) which was produced by Jason Ingram and Rusty Varenkamp.  In the liner notes she writes the following to her listeners: "My prayer is that these songs would draw you closer to the God who has loved you all your life."  She also addresses the Lord: "Jesus, all I want is for You to be pleased with my life.  Take these songs, they are from You and for You.  Reveal Yourself through this record, for if You are not in the music, it is merely empty noise."
     The album begins with 'Never Move On' which has a very contemporary feel to it and has her thinking about Calvary: "Held captive here/In awe of grace/Joy found in tears/Upon Your face/And all my shame/Just disappears/My guilt erased/When I am here/I don't need a new truth/All I need is more of You."  'Only to be Yours' is radio friendly and about letting Jesus take the wheel of one's life: "Undivided, strip everything else away/Burn the idols, the things in my life/That have replaced You/I lay my life down, here on Your altar/Empty my hands of all I've been holding back."  'Can Anybody Hear Me?' is catchy and has Meredith working out her faith: "I will trust in You/Even in the moments I can't find You/I will hold onto/Your promises Oh, Lord/You've never failed before/I know that You can hear me/When the silence is deafening/Even though You seem far away/I know You're here with me/But I just need the faith to see/Nothing can separate me from Your love."
     The title track is a pretty ballad with strings and speaks of total dependence on the Lord: "I won't speak until You speak/I won't move until You move me/I won't sing, sing over me/I will wait as long as it takes."  'Come Home' sounds like it should be on a movie soundtrack.  It was written for her brother Derek and is a sister's heartfelt cry to her brother: "You're not a disappointment to me/You're just like the rest of us/Struggling through the journey/I don't care what secrets you may keep/I could never love you less/Than all the love inside of me."  'All will fade Away' was written with Jason Ingram and her husband Jacob Sooter.  It offers these words of encouragement to those experiencing hardships: "All of this will disappear/We are strangers here/We are strangers here/We will see/You face to face/And all will fade away/Yes, all will fade away."
     'What it Means to Love' is a standout inspirational track she wrote with Jason Walker after returning from a visit to an orphanage in Haiti.  From her experience she concludes: "So how could I go back to life as usual/And how could I return to who I once was?/I just want to take your story to the world/'Cause you have shown me what it means to love."  'Live through me' is a pulsating track that gives God permission to take total control of one's life: "Oh to speak and to hear You speaking/Oh to breathe and to feel Your breath in me/To love like a fire burning/All consuming Father live through me/Set me ablaze/For my soul's sake/Set me ablaze/'Til only You remain."  'My Soul Sings' was written with Jason Ingram and Stu Gerrard.  It is an upbeat song of praise: "Now my soul sings/For my eyes to see/Your beauty on display/For all the world to see/Now my soul sings/Responding/To the wonder of Your love/At work inside of me." 
     'In Your Arms' is a memorable piano ballad supported by great background vocals.  It is the song of one intentionally drawing near to God: "I'm turning the world off/Embracing the silence/Walking away from all the voices/That are screaming in my ear/I've been too caught up/I've been so stressed out/And all of the noise replaced the whisper/That used to be so clear/So I close every door/And put my face back on the floor."  The album closes with 'How Great is the Love' written by Meredith, Jacob Sooter, and Paul Baloche.  This beautiful six minutes plus long song features Paul Baloche. It won the 2011 Dove Award for Worship Song of the Year and reverently praises Jesus for His earthly rescue mission: "Jesus, faithful King/Lord, with grateful hearts we sing/How great is the love/How great is the love/Of our Savior/The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame/You carried it all and rose from the grave/How great is the love (2X)/Of our Savior (2X)."
     AS LONG AS IT TAKES is a relevant, timely praise and worship record.  It will appeal to those who enjoy the musical stylings of Joy Williams and Erin O'Donnell.  Meredith Andrews is a very pretty, gorgeous young lady.  I'm rating this project 83.5%.  For more info visit or