For nearly a decade Kim Hill has been involved in a series of worship recordings, beginning with Focus on the Family's Renewing the Heart series in 1998. Prior to a Christmas recording in 2004, her last release, 2003's Surrounded by Mercy was in the contemporary worship format that has become so popular.
Broken Things comes as a bit of surprise, though a welcome one, with a clean rock sound that hearkens back to her earlier days. Hill has always sounded good singing folk/rock, and this recording is no exception. Her voice is strong and right at home in this setting.
The lyrics speak in particular to women struggling with emotional issues, but anyone will be able to appreciate the hope and comfort offered in songs that alternate between adoration to God and stories and reflections on our broken condition. God's grace and goodness are a recurring theme, providing a welcome musical meditation. Fortunately, the music doesn't take a back seat to the lyrics.
I don't know if Hill has ever sounded better. What you get is a modern sound with classic rock influences. "A Million Pieces" includes the jangly guitar sound pioneered by Roger McGuinn, former lead guitarist of the Byrds. "Lover of My Soul" starts with a lone electric guitar reminiscent of the classic, "House of the Rising Sun," before Kim and then later the band join in. You can here shades of Crazy Horse, Neil Young's old band, on "Here Inside of Me." There's enough variation to keep it interesting and plenty of hooks.
For the most part, the backing consists of electric and acoustic guitars, bass and drums without too much production and adornment. Producer Paul Ebersold (Third Day, Sister Hazel, Three Doors Down) has done a wonderful job of blending new and old, electric and acoustic. One of the strongest songs is the beautiful piano ballad of "Just the Same," a Kate Miner song that ends the recording. This is nothing fancy--just a solid collection of songs that lean toward rock.
Hill deserves credit for taking a risk, when she could have come out with another contemporary worship recording that could have just been one among the many.
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Michael Dalton (mdalton)
I live in Eureka on the coast of Northern California. I am about 250 miles north of San Francisco. Our redwood trees are some of the tallest in the world. I like books, music, movies, … more
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For Broken Things, Kim Hill teamed up with Grammy and Dove Award winning rock producer, Paul Ebersold (Three Doors Down, Sister Hazel, Third Day) to record an album with nods to the '70s and '80s classic rock. Broken Things is full of original modern sounds with retro moments that are nothing short of timeless. Well known artists and song writers such as Margaret Becker, Mark Lee (Third Day), Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips all contributed songs to the project. This record is for every person who lives in this fallen world and hopes that their faith will survive their own "broken things", regardless of their size.