“Hiding Place” Review: Tori Kelly solaces listeners with gospel

Tori Kelly’s sophomore album explores the singer-songwriter’s creative, gospel side.

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“Hiding Place” Review: Tori Kelly solaces listeners with gospel

Courtesy of CCM Magazine

Courtesy of CCM Magazine

Courtesy of CCM Magazine

Kayla Santos, Staff Writer

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Tori Kelly released her sophomore album “Hiding Place” on Sept. 14, delving deep into her Christian roots with uplifting gospel. Although she had not previously classified her music under the Christian genre, the “Nobody Love” singer and wife of a Biola alum has always been outspoken about her faith in God. Kelly offers this collection of gospel-based songs as a way to tell listeners that they can find hope from God’s love in the midst of life’s struggles. Her eight tracks, including collaborations with Lecrae and Kirk Franklin, take listeners back to church with funky and melancholic tunes. Take 36 minutes of your day to listen to this heartfelt, uplifting album.

SONGS THAT EASE THE SOUL

The album begins with the excitingly buoyant “Masterpiece,” which may just make you get up and dance. As she sings, “crazy how mistakes can be miracles in disguise,” Kelly encourages listeners to reside in the truth that God can turn anything into his perfect masterpiece.

Sunday,” a personal favorite, embraces a jazzy sound that perfectly accompanies Kelly’s velvety voice. This song describes the struggle of hypocrisy that many Christians deal with. Conviction stirs in the hearts of listeners as they hear the raw lyrics, “I’m tired of this dirty heart that keeps our worlds apart.”

A beautiful aspect of this album is Kelly’s constant references to Scripture, including the track “Psalm 42.” The song is introduced with a serene piano and gradually sets us up for a powerful second chorus, which includes Kelly’s powerhouse voice crying out her need for God. “Psalm 42” inspires us to hope in God when our souls are cast down.  

The album concludes with “Soul’s Anthem (It is Well),” a solemn melody supported by a  powerful gospel choir. Sung without instruments, the track highlights the usage of acapella soul, a rarity in the music world today. The gospel newcomer closes her album with the somber words of the hymn “It is Well,” pleading for God to never let her go.