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Music Review: Human (Deluxe Edition) by Holly Starr

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7.6
 
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Updated February 25, 2019
HumanDeluxe
"Human feat. Matthew Parker" by Christian Singer Holly Starr, New Christian Music
"I Don't Know" by Christian Singer Holly Starr, New Christian Music

Artist Details

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Basic Details

Release Date
Digital Price
£7.99 (Amazon)

Publisher Details

Track Listing

Produced by Matthew Parker and David Thulin, along with Bryan Fowler (TobyMac, Mandisa), the seven-song set--which has already garnered widespread critical acclaim--showcases Starr's deeply personal lyrics and modern pop sensibilities.

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Editor review

1 reviews

Human (Deluxe Edition) by Holly Starr
Overall rating 
 
7.6
Vocals 
 
9.0
Lyrics 
 
8.0
Originality 
 
7.0
Value 
 
9.0
Personal Rating 
 
6.0
Once again I feel a little 'late to the party' with this album as the original version was released in 2017, but October 2018 saw a deluxe version of the album released and it seemed like a good time to get hold of that album. The deluxe version has a couple of extra tracks and an additional Matthew Parker remix on it. This album is Starr's fifth studio album since she came on the wider Christian music scene with her debut album, "Embraced", in 2008. She is now widely known for the honesty in her lyrics and music and her versatility in reaching different audiences in her live performances. Starting out singing in her small-town area to share Christ with her friends she is now able to share Christ and His compassion on much bigger stages. Not bad going for the daughter of an onion farmer!

The album opens with a track called "Bruises" and this is a song for those who feel emotionally battered and bruised by the world around them. The world around us constantly confronts us with the negative, but this song brings positives in the way that we are seen. We shine bright, we are precious treasure, we are more than the scars and bruises. There is a deliberate choice in the language that speaks to a younger generation, particularly those who battle self-image and seek release in self-harming. There is a hauntingly passionate vocal which opens "Run The Race" which is also remixed by Matthew Parker on both versions of the album. The aim of the song is pretty clear through the lyrics which tells the listener to get up and carry on, no matter what has knocked you down. We were made to run the race!

After those two songs of encouragement we have a love song called "Umbrella". Before you begin to wonder if this is a love song that could be directed at God, then no, it seems this is about human relationships as the defining moment of the relationship is when her other held her umbrella in the rain. The title track, "Human" flips the shame we feel when we make mistakes on it's head, it says we need to give ourselves a break and see mistakes as character building, making us what we are. The song tells us we could never be perfect and that's OK, and it is part of being human, if we were perfect then we wouldn't need God's grace, everything that makes us human brings us to our knees before God.  Holly's natural vocal has a very pleasant tone to it, but in some of these songs she uses different vocal tones to emphasise her points, hooks and choruses and these sound great and stick in your head well so you easily 'get' what she is trying to relay.

"You And I" seems to be a song to a Sister or best friend, the innocence of childhood which becomes more complicated in the world of the adult. Yet here she reaffirms the commitment and reminds the person that they are strong and courageous to get through what they are having to face. "Say Yes" is the difficulty that many of us face when being asked to trust God. Holly talks about building up her walls of security and asking God to break them down, she wants to say yes to His plan but as humans we find it hard. This is not a new battle, it's been going on since Moses time at the very least, you can read his list of excuses in the Bible and he was talking to a loud commanding voice from a burning bush! How much easier it is for us to rely on what we know works for us rather than what our Bible reading, or the still small voice, prompts in us? This theme is one that is revisited on the last original track from this album called "I Don't Know" where one again the next steps in a situation are being sought out.

What seems to be a deeply personal song in "Sailing" is about saying goodbye to a loved older-person. Someone who has lived a life, but still could have lived more and it's a reminder to all of us that we are all sailing through life and that moments we have today we will never have again. The remix version of "Run The Race" brings the standard version of this album to a close, but we have to wait a couple more tracks before we come to that on the Deluxe version of the album. "Talk It Out" is the first of these, featuring Beacon Light and comes with the aftermath of an argument in a couple. This song examines the silent treatment that can come when no-one wants to be the first to actually talk. No matter how much has been said there is hope that this can all be talked out. This track is followed up by the soft track "I Don't Know" before the two remixes from Matthew Parker round out this album.

This album is quite gentle in many ways, thanks to the light synth effects and percussion and, of course, the generously warm vocals of Holly herself. I think this would be an album that I would recommend to someone who is doubting themselves, thinking that they can't go on This album is so positive and affirming that it is one of those that you just want to put on to feel good about yourself, even if you don't really ever believe it. It's a message that is much needed for young women both in the church and outside of it and this would probably be accepted by those outside the church because it definitely doesn't shove God in the listeners ears, but there is enough here is they want to ask questions and explore further. 
RA

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