In promotional materials Laura Kaczor is billed as a singer, a songwriter, a worship leader, and a speaker. These materials also note that she was “a Top 10 New Female Christian Singer (NewReleaseTuesday, 2012) with four consecutive Top 25 Soft AC Billboard hit singles, in Top 20 for 10 weeks”. They were from LOVE ENOUGH. Laura’s fourth and latest album RESTORE ME (2015, LifeThirst Music) was produced by Ian Eskelin. Laura shares: “My sweet Samuel, the joy of my life, born with a hole in his heart was the reason I was on my knees for most of 2014. I want this album to give others a message of faith, hope and strength, no matter what they are going through. Only the unfailing, unconditional love of Christ restores us”. Samuel had successful open heart surgery.
The album’s first radio single ‘Forever’ is one of six songs here that Laura co-wrote with Amy Lewis. It testifies to God’s faithfulness: “Every lonely valley, You were there/You carried me when I thought no one cared/Looking back I can see, You kept Your promise to me/When You said You’d never leave.../Thank You for Your grace/You found me in the darkest place/Where no one would go/Thank You for Your love, for taking me as I come/And never giving up, never giving up”. ‘You Know’ is a breezy, light pop song about putting one’s full trust in God: “I don’t have all the answers/But I’ve got a willing heart/And I’m ready to do my part/But still I feel so unprepared/I’m not sure why You brought me here/But You know, You know/All I need is just to follow/And I’ll go, I’ll go/Walk with You into tomorrow/You know (3X)/You know right where You want me/And You can see the way/I will follow all in faith”.
‘Once and For All’ reflects on the meaning of Calvary: “You took away our shame/You stood in our place/Took it on Yourself/Carried the weight/Blameless You came in/Pleading guilty for our sin/And once and for all we were bought with a price/Once and for all we were given new life/And once for all of the world You died, You died/Jesus You’re the only One who could do this/Now the power of death is finished”. ‘If the Path was Straight’ portrays the Christian walk in a realistic way: “Teach me to trust/Cause when I feel off track/Sometimes to move forward/I’ve got to step back/It gets hard, it gets rough/I still get down but I still get up/Leaning with the curves/Day by day, I don’t have to be afraid/Twist and turn, live and learn/It wouldn’t take much faith/If the path was straight”.
The title track ‘Restore Me’ is a modern day Psalm and a song of praise and worship: “Every day, You are the strength I need/For every step and every breath I breathe/And in this truth, I find my rest/You couldn’t love me more or less/Lord, You are the Maker of everything lovely/Creator of the Universe/Let Your love surround me/When this world has me broken/And feeling like I can’t win/I’ll run to You/You’re all I need/Only You restore me”. ‘Only You’ is one of four songs on this project that Laura wrote alone. It is a reverent ballad: “There is none like You/With no beginning and no end/Holy, set apart/All power in Your hands/You are Adonai¸ Elohim/Jehovah God, my Redeemer/And You, only You/Are the true and living God/The Maker of my heart/And You, only You/Over all the universe/King of never ending worth/Oh, I will worship You/Only You”.
‘Rain Down’ includes these poetic words: “Rain down, rain down Your glory (2X)/Open up the heavens and rain down/You are the One who’s stolen my heart/Abundant love washes over me/In Your presence I am free/You’re the God of goodness/Lord of all/Father let Your mercy fall”. ‘You Make Me Brave’ begins by declaring who God is: “You are greater than this circumstance/You are stronger than what’s pressing in on me/You are Healer, only You restore/You are bigger, I can trust You Lord/You are my help, when I am weak/You hear my cry, You rescue me/You are a warrior, strong to save/A shield all around me/You make me brave”.
‘We Don’t Always Understand’ was written before Laura was even pregnant with Samuel. It is a song that ministers encouragement: “Keep on believing, He is good in all things/We don’t always understand/Keep on praying, even if all you’re saying is/’Take this from my hands’/I know You have a plan/We don’t always understand/When we hurt, when we lose/When we can’t find our way/We can still choose to keep on trusting/Keep on reaching/For the meaning He brings to all things”. The last song up is ‘Greater’. It is a song of spiritual longing: “More of You and less of me/Only more of You Jesus/Fill this place that is in my heart/Until it overflows with all You are/And when I speak be in every word/And may my life reveal You to the world/And let Your praise be ever on my lips/Oh Jesus, Savior, become greater”.
1 Peter 5:10 is a theme verse for this album. It reads: “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you”. Laura’s vocals are smooth, sweet, and easy to listen to. Lyrically, this album glorifies God even in the midst of life’s hardships. He is shown here to be a Refuge and an Anchor. Fans of Chris Tomlin, Kari Jobe, Jessa Anderson, and Nichole Nordeman, will greatly enjoy this album. It is comprised of songs that fall into the following musical categories: pop, adult contemporary, and modern worship. I’m rating RESTORE ME 90%. The photos of Laura included with this CD are quite beautiful. If you’d like to learn more about Laura and her ministries visit: www.laurakaczor.com and www.lifethirst.org.