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Kendall Payne / GROWN Review - ChristianMusic.com

Kendall Payne's Video

MISSION STATEMENT: To encourage others in their struggles with life and walking with the Lord, by sharing her thoughts and spiritual insights in her songs.

The messages of hope and encouragement were inspired by her own real life heartaches and happiness she experienced as a person experiencing her early twenties.

Themes Expressed in her Music:

The Lord grows us through the hard times in our lives and the hard times of others in our lives. Trials such as loss, desperation, divorce and wanting to be loved again are powerful motivations for personal evolvement and growth.

The Lord never leaves us, and we can depend on Him to see us through anything.

God loves you as you are. One important goal is to find own identity. Be secure in who you are, not what other's say. The Lord has made us to serve Him in unique ways.


ABOUT KENDALL PAYNE and Her Adventures & Trials in Serving the Lord

Kendall Payne and her sister Jordan lived with their parents in Malibu, California, "modestly," Kendall explains, and were not spoiled by the wealth or secular culture found in their community. They grew up in a Christian atmosphere, with Christian values and goals; developing a love for the Lord Jesus and a desire to serve Him, as a result of the seeds of faith planted and nurtured by people in their lives.

The considerable musical / lyrical gifts of Kendall Payne appeared early in her life, as the unlisted cut of one of her first songs as a child testifies to this reviewer, which is hidden on her newest release, GROWN. This little song, which was added on after the last song of the CD, shows the insight of a young Kendall Payne, only 9 years old, who can be heard on tape not only singing her song to a relative who had just given birth, but also enthusiastically explaining the precocious lyrics she had written in this musical effort. Kendall Payne was a deep thinker, a communicator at a very young age, a talent which continued to grow and evolve as did her faith in Jesus Christ.

By her teen years, Kendall was composing music described as being a "bright, hopeful, alternative brand of pop," paired with insightful lyrics which "blended common emotion, temporal experience, and ultimate truth, all held together by her deeply held Christian faith running throughout." Her performance and delivery of her songs showed a maturity of both musical and lyrical thought.

A press release correctly describes Kendall Payne at this point in her life; "She sings and plays with a passion that belies her age and she writes with the insight of a young woman who has lived beyond her years."

Not many 16 year old songwriters / performers find themselves pursued by multiple record companies, both Christian and secular, who recognized a powerful musical vehicle in the form of a young woman and her musical gifts when they heard it. By the time she was 17 years old, she was sitting down with representatives of a secular market label, Capitol Records, to sign a recording deal. One wonders why she signed with a secular record company.

In a Bio published in Christianmusictoday.com, courtesy of Sparrow Records, Kendall answers this question. She signed with them not because of greater financial gain or notoriety, but because she felt the Lord was calling her to bring this musical / lyrical Christian message of her own profession of faith to a wider audience, bringing the light of Christ into some lives who really need it; young people!

Kendall Payne shared, "I felt like God gave me a choice: Do you want to take your bucket of water and pour it back into the ocean, or do you want to take it to the people out in the desert? My response was: I want to take my bucket of water to the people who are dying of thirst - I want to give them hope. I want to take my water to the desert."

By 19 years old, Kendall Payne had her first album, JORDAN'S SISTER released by Capitol Records in 1999, which was a huge hit, selling to date nearly 100,000 albums. This album was a great crossover collection of songs which found fans in both secular music and Christian music world. The universal themes pertaining to the teenage years appealed to a wide audience indeed, and the hopeful lyrical messages of faith found their mark, the very audience that Kendall was striving to help; young people!

Many doors of opportunity opened for Kendall to perform, which is what she loves to do the best then and now. She began touring with such well-known artists such as Third Day, where she was their opening act in two United States tours. Kendall also went on a UK tour with Delerious, toured with Dido, Ron Sexsmith and Lilith Fair. She also toured with four other Capitol Records artists, 4 other female songwriters, under the EMI "Girl's Room" tour.

Yes indeed, she was certainly busy, taking full advantage of the opportunities which opened up for her in this music ministry; to reach out to others with hope of the Lord; sharing the Truth; "God is the only thing I've found worth investing my heart into."

When asked what Kendall hoped to accomplish with this CD, Kendall said, "To provide kids with a hope; A little breath of fresh air and hopefully the feeling that someone has walked the path they are treading and made it to the top, in one piece." (Christianbook.com interview)

Songs from this album were used in films such as NEVER BEEN KISSED and BEAUTIFUL. The song, which was released as a single, entitled SUPERMODELS was chosen as the theme song for WB's hit TV show, "Popular." Other songs were used on "Dawson's Creek" and "Felicity."

None of this success affected her genuine heart attitude to use her musical gifts to serve the Lord. Kendall shares in an interview, "I am excited to get a chance to live out this amazing dream that God has blessed me with."

In 2001, Kendall became a bonafide success story at the age of 21 when she won a Dove Award for Best Alternative Rock Album.

However, in 2002, Kendall Payne experienced a painful rejection by no fault of her own; an experience which other artists have been through as well, including Kelly Minter, Chevelle and The Williams Sisters; Unexpected troubles with their record label. For in 2002, there was financial challenges in the music CD business and an "unexpected regime change" at Capitol Records came to pass. The new unenlightened leadership who took up the reins of Capitol Records cut her loose from their artist roster, deciding that her lyrics and music wouldn't fit in with the musical direction Capitol wanted to follow. She also wound up "parting ways with her management company and its Christian label counterpart."

At 22, Kendall Payne found herself hurting and now an independent Christian music artist, having to start over again; A lonely place to be, after experiencing so much success so quickly. This was quite a lot of change to absorb and work through for someone so young.

Kendall shares, "I found myself standing in my living room, ironing something while in my pajamas, wishing the phone would ring. It was quite humbling, I must say. I had made and found my identity in being an artist. If I wasn't that anymore...... I didn't know who I was."

The Lord had not left Kendall, and through this difficult time, He grew and fine-tuned her through this big bump in the road, in several areas of her life, which blessed her in unexpected ways, as she began this new journey of discovery, evolving and changing personally, spiritually and musically.

In the Bio provided in her promotional materials, Kendall Payne reflects, "Every great songwriter needs fuel for their fire, and there is no greater fuel than the ache of rejection. It was a very dark place for me, but in retrospect I would not trade it for all the success in the world."

Kendall was not one to sit around and mope, feeling sorry for herself. Despite how she was feeling, Kendall Payne went back to junior college for a short time to explore the field of psychology, found gainful employment at various jobs in her town where she was living, started dating a special young man, who turned out to be the love of her life, and became actively involved in a local church, serving and becoming attached to this special church family. (What a blessing to their music program!)

Kendall Payne shares in a Christianitytoday.com interview, her thoughts about being a member of a church family. "A church community gives people friends and an infrastructure of other humans who are all there for the same reason. For me, some of my greatest strengths have come out of existing around church, seeking God and worshipping him, and living out his laws in a community."

Having a more normal life for someone her age, having time to read, participate in a spiritual and personal life and to deal with her disappointment and hurt in constructive ways turned out to be a huge blessing for Kendall; becoming a new person, evolving, strengthening her faith in the Lord, her sense of self, her purpose and her music. Kendall shares, "I felt like I was rediscovering my passion for life."

Two of her passions became very apparent to her, which need to be expressed, despite what unenlightened record labels dictate. Kendall's God given gifts of musical talent and her ability to write real lyrics, still stirred within her, pushing her to continue to fully express her most important thoughts and revelations about the Lord, his character, the ups and downs of life as a human being and how the two connect in the existing world.

She found herself being drawn to write down her thoughts. In 2002, Kendall Payne's first book, MIRROR, MIRROR was published. Her second book, SOUL SISTERS was published via Regal Books in July of 2005.

The Lord continued to give her songs, a vehicle to express her feelings and thoughts, as she went down this road. For it was at night, that she was drawn to her music, via her guitar. Kendall shares, "It called to me; the music was practically writing itself. It only needed me to transcribe it onto paper."

As she struggled with this loss and confusion as to who she was, her songs reflected the pain and angst. Kendall shares, "There was a time when I wanted to call my next album, 'Sad & Slow' because it felt like all I was writing was sad and slow songs. I even wrote a song called 'Happy' which is about being sad.'"

However, she began to enjoy life once again, as she rediscovered who she was and what she strongly cared about. She began to compose / write brighter songs classified as "mid-tempo and easy listening."

Eventually, a new door opened also in her musical career as an indie artist. The Lord always finds a way in his own time frame to allow His plan to evolve in a person's life, who is willing to follow Him. Her friend, Zachary Levi, who is an actor on ABC's LESS THAN PERFECT, so admired her talent and passion for music, that he offered to finance her new album of songs, which she had been writing during this time of personal evolvement and growth, away from the mainstream spotlight of the established music business.

One of the blessings of being an independent Christian music artist is having creative freedom and artistic license. As the songs are acoustic guitar based, Kendall and Zachary found the perfect music producer, Tim Schoenhals who brought much experience and insight to this new CD, GROWN, where Kendall shares with us all her newest insights about her faith, her life and experiences which many people, both young and not so young can relate to and find the encouraging hope Kendall offers the listener through this collection of songs.

Three days after finding their producer, Tim Schoenhals, Kendall found herself in the Treatment Room Recording Studio, starting the five month process of putting this album together, working with Schoenhals and the musicians hand-picked for each song. Some of Kendall's friends, Jason Wade (Lifehouse), Rickey and Randy Jackson (The Daylights) and Jamie Wollam ( Avion) all contributed, making musical appearances in songs.

Jason Wade also helped to co-write the song BACKWARDS. Kendall shares, "I already had the verses to the song, "Backwards," but I was really stuck on where to go from there. So I took it to my friend, Jason Wade and in 5 minutes he wrote a Chorus and Bridge!"

2005 turned out to be a very joyous year for Kendall Payne. She married the special young man she fell in love with. On September 27, 2005 - Kendall's new album, GROWN was released, four years after her debut album, revealing a musical artist strong in her faith, transformed and evolved to a place of renewed strength, motive and purpose, and sharing her growth of a person and songwriter through her music with her fans and a wider listening audience made up of people who appreciate real lyrics which make one think, paired with musical compositions which are diverse and interesting.

Review Of Kendall Payne's CD, GROWN

Kendall Payne describes her music, "I don't like classifying my music as pop or alternative or whatever it might be called. To me, it's like a stew of different thoughts, emotions, and feelings."

This newest musical stew of Kendall Payne's different thoughts, emotions, insights and feelings is a delightful collection of well-played acoustic-based songs which this reviewer classifies as being sort of a lyrical diary of her hard process of redefining herself, and refocusing her sense of purpose for her gifts, as she goes down a new unfamiliar road. For the CD's title, GROWN is the perfect description of the end result of Kendall Payne's transition and evolvement during this dark time in her life as the Lord patiently molded and grew her, leading her through the dark hallway into a much better life for her to create her music, with her faith and love for the Lord intact. Kendall Payne is faithful in sharing what she learned over the last four years with the listening audience, offering this collection of songs which are a blessing and an encouragement to the listener.

Album begins on a solemn note with a song, SCRATCH about beginning again with the Lord and people who listen to her music - Her fans and others who have yet to hear her songs. Songs reflects on being a grown-up girl, facing hard times, worries, confusion, wondering how she will start over again with the Lord and her fans.

The second song, ROLLERCOASTER in contrast is a lively keep you chin up acoustic guitar propelled melody, with a memorable chorus putting a positive spin in a musical and lyrical way on life in general - accepting both the hills and valleys we experience.

She continues along this train of thought in SUPERSTAR, exploring why change is good for our soul, especially when it comes to our natural tendency of being all about self, and the temptation of reaching for empty goals. But we can't change without help from the Holy Spirit, via other people, and life's experiences.

She visits painful situations which are part of our human condition, such as mental illness in JOHNNY SHOT TO THE MOON caused by emotional stress, and the heartbreak of a marital split, HAPPY, due to selfish attitudes evolving around personal happiness. She follows up with her conclusion about pain caused by personal relationships in the song, UPS and DOWNS.

She explores another hard thing to do; being selfless, putting self second to others in the song, MOON. When a person finds themselves in a difficult valley, her solution can be found in BACKWARDS, another song of encouragement.

The song ASLAN explore the characteristics of Jesus via a song about the ASLAN lion from the book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

The Album ends with a song, PRAY, which asks for things which will keep one humble, loving toward others and will develop personal character and holiness pleasing to the Lord.

While the lyrical messages, the melodies which they are paired with and the vocals which express them are the true stars of the songs, the acoustical arrangements are brilliantly put together as well, offering acoustic and light rock selections, always interesting, never mundane! Kendall Payne and friends have created songs with solid musical arrangements to support the main melodies, perfect for each song's lyrical message.

WOW! What an album. Let's review why! Inspired musical compositions which are well played, a pleurae of insightful meaningful 'real' lyrics, and Kendall Payne's wonderful vocals make GROWN a must for anyone's music collection. For all ages of listeners are blessed by what Kendall Payne has learned through her times of trial about herself and about the Lord.

SPIRITUAL TRUTHS / THEMES - Found in her songs on GROWN

The Lord grows us through the hard times in our lives and the hard times of others in our lives: SCRATCH * ROLLERCOASTER * MOON * JOHNNY * PRAY

Trials such as loss, desperation, divorce and wanting to be loved again are powerful motivations for personal evolvement and growth, as our needs draw us to God: HAPPY * BACKWARDS * STAND HERE

The Lord never leaves us, and we can depend on Him to see us through, by His way and time, not necessarily our way or time table, because of who He is: UPS & DOWNS * STAND HERE * BACKWARDS * ASLAN

God loves you as you are, and puts people in your life to give you support. LITTLE THINGS

One important goal is to find own identity. Be secure in who you are, not what other's say. The Lord has made us to serve Him in unique ways. SUPERSTAR * LITTLE THINGS * TWENTY THREE

GROWN Songs - Individual Commentary and Lyrics

* * * + + SCRATCH - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

This song, SCRATCH was selected for an episode of the TV show drama, GREY'S ANATOMY.

Strong favorite of this reviewer. Begins with a lovely intro featuring a string ensemble, then segues into a acoustic guitar based ballad / prayer hymn with a background cello or two. Great use of dynamics in both the expressive vocals and moving musical composition. Melody is haunting, perfect for the opening lyrical message, which expresses Kendall's insights on the challenges of starting over on a new, unfamiliar road, not traveled on before, with just the Lord to lean on, trusting in Him to be able to step out in faith, not knowing how her music will be received.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 119:105, Jer. 29:11-13, Phil. 2:13)


Its a big girl world now. Full of big girl things. And every day I wish I was small / I've been counting on nothing / But He keeps giving me His Word / And I am tired of hearing myself speak.

Do you get weary? Do you ever get weak? How do you dream when you can't fall asleep?

I've been wondering what you're thinking And if you liked my dress tonight. Would you still say you loved me Under this ordinary moonlight / I'm so afraid of what you'll say.

Chorus: I'd like to know if you'd be open / to starting over from scratch / I'd like to know if you'd be open / To giving me a second chance

I used to think I was special / And only I have proved me wrong / I thought I could change the world with a song / But I have ended up in India / With no map to guide me home / The strangest place I think / I've ever been

Bridge:And all this time / I thought that we were friends / But my stubborn will is learning to bend


* * * + + ROLLERCOASTER - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

Second favorite song of this reviewer. Thanks to the enthusiastic guitar ensemble which crisply establish both the rhythm & melody support and dynamic soft to energetic vocals, this song presses home the hopeful lyrical message, which truly does remind one of being on a ROLLERCOASTER. Lyrically, she compares experiencing the ups and the downs of life as just like being on a rollercoaster, adding her thoughts and insights, which the listener can relate to very well. Most enjoyable dynamic buildup, which is at full throttle during the chorus.

Scriptural References: (2nd Cor. 4:16-18, Psalm 27:14, Ephes. 4:2-3)


Life gets a little better life stays a little gray. Live it up, live it long you can always count on. Those unexpected moments when the pleasure just Sweeps you away

We were made for something better / Something better than this inconsistency / So while you wait to respond to what's really going on / Under shame, under doubt /what the whole thing's all about / Sing to me

Chorus: It's like a rollercoaster 100 miles fast / Spins you round in circles till you want to collapse / Makes you so excited you can't wait for your second chance

Love gets a little moldy / Especially when its you I'm trying to love / And the road gets so long seems so hard to sing along / But I can't ever imagine any other / I would rather be dreaming of

We are riding on the shoulders / Of the ones who've come before and the ones who've passed away Some are good / some are bad / some are all we've ever had / To compare to prepare us for everything we're facing today.


VAMP: Some are good / Some are bad / Some are all we've ever had / Some are tired some are bored / Some still stuck on keeping score / Some are kind / Some are mean / Some are never to be seen Some are tired / some are weak / some are lying through their teeth / Some can love / some can hate / I can relate.


* * * + SUPERSTAR - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

Nicely composed acoustic light rock anthem / written in a minor key, which has a catchy rhythm and melody, in an easy 4 rock beat using a snare drum. Dotted note rhythmic melody gives the song a swing feel, which is carried very nicely in the vocals, done so well by Kendall. Usual great dynamics and heartfelt delivery of lyrical message.

Scriptural References: ( Romans 12:2, 1 John 2:15-16, Matt. 6:33, Luke 12:34, Gal. 5:19-26)


Look at all those lives / living for themselves / Look at all you've got / that you could give to someone else yeah / Look at all you've done / With all the days you've had so far / What you will become / Is up to you to search your heart

Bridge: But nothing ever changes / You see so many faces / No, nothing ever changes / until someone changes you

Chorus 1: Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? Some kind of superstar?

Look at all your time wasted on what fades away / Would you take it back /if you could have your yesterdays

Bridge: But nothing ever changes / You see so many faces / No, nothing ever changes / until someone changes you

Chorus 2: Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? Some kind of superstar? (When you see the world in need / who do you want to be? / You can be who you want to be) Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? Some kind of superstar?

Hook: When all this is over maybe we'll see / Who we were made for and destined to be, but tell me...

Tag: Who do you think you are? Who do you think you are? Some kind of superstar? Who do you think you are? Some kind of superstar? Who do you think you, Who do you think you are?

* * * + + UPS & DOWNS - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

A lovely, hopeful, upbeat acoustic anthem with nice inner voices contributions from flute, keys, concertina, and perhaps a mandolin, all which support the main melody or provide really pretty counter melody! Love the vocals and lyrical message encouraging us to coming to peace with the darkness in us, so that our true light inside can shine!

Scriptural References: (Phil.4:6-8, Romans 15:13, John 8:12, Joshua 1:9, Matt. 11:28-30)


All that I've found through the ups and the downs / Is that I'd have it no other way / Life in the raw is both fragile and strong / Its both lovely and ugly the same / Who can attest that when they're at their best / Oh their worst is still crouching close behind / Its coming to peace with the darkness in me / That allows the true light inside to shine

Chorus: So let it go for we are still far from home / Though your try and you try to escape /To live and to love will always be dangerous / But it's better than playing it safe

We are composed of a symphony of notes / Every life is as music to His ears / I'll play my melody be it haunting be it sweet / Unashamed of what anyone might hear.

So when the load breaks your back and your will / You must still keep your heart in the game / To live and to love will always be dangerous / But it's better than playing it safe.

So let it go when it don't feel like home / When inside is your only escape / To live and to love will always be dangerous / But would you want it any other way?

* * * + + THE MOON - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

A strong favorite of the reviewer. A beautiful, 3/4 meter, piano ballad with acoustic guitar as a support voice. A metaphorical song using the moon to stand for a person who despite personal pain or hardship puts others first. A tender, poignant song which flows along right over the listener.

Scriptural References: (1st Cor. 10:24, 2nd Cor.4:8-10, Ruth 1:15-16, Ephes. 5:1)


The moon's worn thin / Succumbed to the pressure / Her silver dress / Hangs in the sky like a rag

Her coat her cloak / Her cover of darkness / It fails to hide / The tears that she's cried / Oh she cries

Chorus: But she still shines / Though the night falls around her /And by her light I find my way / When I fear the path laid before me / I look to the light of her face / And thank her for being so brave.

The moon remains / In fullness or frailty / A faithful climb / And I stand amazed at the way


* * * + + STAND HERE - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

An inspiring acoustic pop ballad / prayer hymn, making great use of both acoustical and electric guitars. Begins with a solemn electrical guitar playing an acoustic part in intro segues into an upbeat electrical guitar ensemble. Quiets down during verses, for the quiet poignant vocals, melody being carried by acoustic guitars, but builds once again to and through the chorus.

Scriptural References: (Psalm 37:7 & 46:10, 1 Chron.16:11, Romans 8:31)


I am still waiting. For how long I don’t know. It’s a long way back from where I’ve been / But there’s no where else to go

Chorus: So I’ll stand With my face to the wind / And my back to the world / I’ll follow You / And I’ll go where You tell me to go./ No I won’t be afraid ;/ No I won’t be afraid.

I feel your wind is moving. I’m not sure where its going / But I’ll let it carry me away / Cause I’m not staying in this place.


Bridge: And I won’t turn around! And I won’t turn around! And I won’t turn around! How could I? And I won’t turn around!

I am still waiting. For how long I don’t know. It’s a long way back from where I’ve come / But there’s no where else to go


Tag: So I’ll stand With my face to the wind And my back to the world I’ll follow you

* * * + LITTLE THINGS - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

Light acoustic pop ballad with a catchy, quick two beat, dotted note rhythm melody which provides the perfect musical support for this lyrical message about becoming the person the Lord has made us to be.

Scriptural References: (Ephes. 2:10, Matt. 11:28-30, Phil 3:12-14)


I don’t care what anybody thinks. I will stare when everybody blinks. I don’t mind the difference that they see

Cause He loves Every little thing / Every little thing / Every little thing / Every little thing / Every little thing, About me…

I believe that everybody bleeds / Sticks and stones aren’t what has cut so deep / I won’t buy the hate they sell for free /


Bridge: You can’t carry the weight of the world / I won’t carry the weight of the world

I can tell the hell that you’ve been through. / It won’t make a difference what we do / They’ll still tell you all the lies are true

But I love Every little thing / Every little thing / Every little thing Every little thing / About you / / Every little thing About you… Every little thing Every little thing Every little thing Every little thing Every little thing About you…

* * * + + HAPPY - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

Third favorite song of this reviewer. Easy two beat (carried by light snare drum) country acoustic ballad, which has a light, breezy melody supported by keyboard chords and acoustic guitars, with very light, delicate electric guitar counter melody in parts, starting in 2nd verse. Great contrast in vocal style used in verses and chorus. Kendall begins the verses in a softer, quieter style, which builds in emotion by the section of each verse which begins with // Take, building into the chorus. Very nice harmonies as well!

Scriptural References: (1 Cor. 13, Ephesians 4: 2b -3, 32 & 5:22-30)


I can’t sleep its Sunday morning / I get no peace when your away /I thought the stars were finally for us / I read ‘em wrong they’re brewing hurricanes / / Take these arms we call our home / And feel just what is true / The sky ain’t moving me away / it’s the sky that’s moving you.

I can’t breath it’s all too sudden / You made your move and by surprise / I’ve been caught again in danger / Divorce myself to be your bride / / Take these words of right and wrong / And tell me how they fit?/ When I’m am wrong for loving me / And you’re right I just can’t quit

Chorus: I wanna be free to be happy again / I want be told that you love who I am / And if it’s a spark that you’re missing, Well, maybe you should try and hold my hand / I wanna be happy / again!.

I can’t choose between now and never / Our baby boy he’s almost five / And he needs both his momma and daddy / And I won’t make him choose a side // Take these roads we travel on / And tell me where they lead? /You sold me heaven / but you gave me hell / And with every step I bleed


I wanna be happy again. I wanna be happy again. I wanna be happy again.

* * * JOHNNY - Words and Music by Kendall Payne

A driving rock ballad, with a well put together composition with a strong electric guitar ensemble full of precise playing, interesting rhythms and striking vocals.

Scriptural References: (1 Peter 5:7, Romans 14:19 & 15:1-2,14)


Johnny shot to the moon. It’s on the nightly news. There’s nothing I can do. Johnny shot to the moon

Johnny’s got (3x) something to say Johnny’s not (2x) he’s not coming down today / Johnny thought (2x) things would always be the same /Oh no, no, no things can’t always be the same

Johnny shot through the roof No one can get through Come and see the proof That Johnny shot through the roof

When you wake up in a war. Torn between your heart and head. Who will win / who’ll be defeated? Johnny I quit keeping score. Now there’s no-one left to blame. No-one left to leave you cheated

Johnny shot to the moon / I guess it’s nothing new / It’s sad to say but its true That Johnny shot to the moon

* * * + + BACKWARDS - Words and Music by Kendall Payne and Jason Wade (Bridge & Chorus)

Light rock anthem with a strong melody to go with the effective lyrics which pump one up not to give up but step out in faith. Again great use of electric guitar ensemble, in a solid acoustic rock composition, providing the perfect upbeat musical vehicle for the hopeful, positive vocals which clearly express the lyrical message with umph.

Scriptural References: (Joshua 1:9, Heb. 12:1-3, Romans 5;1-5, Phil 3:12-14)


You can’t go backwards you must go forward / You have not been what you could be / When you are the only one who enslaves you / Then you’re the only one who can set you free.

Chorus: Don’t run away, question the answers / Live your life like it’s on fire / You’re one mistake is to think that you’ve made one / Don’t run away

You can’t have mountains without the valleys / You can’t go high if you won’t go deep / You can’t do over / what you’ve done already / Expecting something new to see


Bridge: I will not be bought, will not be caged Won’t stay behind my walls where it is safe/ No I’m tired of trying to compensate for you / For you…


* * * + + ASLAN - Words and Music by Kendall Payne
(A song inspired by the C.S. Lewis book, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.)

Fourth favorite song of this reviewer. A light, bouncy, easy four beat ballad with a delightful melody, bright vocals propelled by a very melodic ensemble of acoustic guitar and a concertina. Vocals are most enjoyable, with nice back up vocal harmonies, 2nd and 3rd time through the chorus.

Scriptural References: (Isaiah 55:8, Ephes.2: 4-9, John 3:16 & 7:37-38, Romans 6:33)


Don’t stop your crying on my account. A frightening lion, no doubt. He’s not safe no, he’s not safe Are you tempted now to run away? The King above all kings is coming down.

Chorus: But He won’t say the words / you wish that he would / Oh He don’t do / the deeds / you know that He could / He won’t think the thoughts / you think that he should / But He is good, He is good.

I know you’re thirsty/ the water is free / But I should warn you- it’ costs everything / Well, he’s not fair no, he’s not fair When he fixes what’s beyond repair And graces everyone that don’t deserve

No-one knows him whom eyes never seen No, I don’t know Him but He knows me / He knows me. He knows me.

Lay down your layers, shed off your skin But without his incision you can’t enter in / He cuts deep, yeah he cuts deep When the risk is great and the talk is cheap But never leaves a wounded one behind.


* * * + + TWENTY THREE

A song about hurting, taking a chance and letting go, in the hard process of growing up. Beautiful 3/4 meter, poignant ballad composed in a minor key, featuring a perfect pairing of heartfelt lyrics and a haunting melody, brought to life by moving electrical & acoustical guitar, light synths and strings in an inspiring musical composition with great dynamics and variety. Kendall's vocals touch the soul, bringing the song to life, all the pain and the hope which struggle within, during a hard time. Song chokes up this reviewer every time!

Scriptural References: (Psalm 37:1-8, 28, Matt. 6:33, Phil 4:6-8, Romans 5;1-5)


Twenty three when did we become grown? I never noticed the seeds of the cynic being sown / Will we starve will the harvest time reap / Freedom or chains hope or disdain for the weak?

Twenty three when did we become safe? We pray to feel pleasure / and hate when we have to feel pain.

Chorus 1 : Let me see / your burn / let me see your bruise / You look just like me / Let me see / where you’re broken in two.

We pretend when we / find the end of ourselves / Afraid to be real so we say that we’re somebody else / Little ones / teach the big to be free / Children are only un-costumed humanity

Chorus 2: While we wait here in the dark / love lends a spark / But we can’t decide / ‘Cause coming back to life / is harder than hell / Once you have died.

Finally I can see with your eyes / That everyone angry is only just aching inside / Twenty-three / when the sun sets tonight / There’s always a reason we just cannot leave it behind.

* * * + + PRAY

Favorite song of this reviewer. Lyrics are excellent, as Kendall sums it up insightfully, sharing what she has learned from the bumps in her road, how she has been blessed. Well-crafted and well composed; simple yet lovely and interesting - perfect for a prayer hymn, welcome in any contemporary service / denomination! Main melody and poignant vocals supported with lovely, smooth broken chords played by guitar during the first two verses, and verses 3 & 4. A string ensemble enters in at the Chorus Refrain; Both supporting the guitar and offering a very nice counter melody during both Chorus Refrains.

Scriptural References: ( Jer. 29:11-16, 1 Peter 15:16, Ephes. 4:1)


I will pray for you now for you have been my faithful friends / While the road we walk is difficult indeed / I couldn’t not ask for more than what you’ve already been / Only that you would say these prayers for me.

May your heart break enough that compassion enters in / May your strength all be spent upon the weak /All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head / May they all fall come crashing down around your feet.

May you find every step to be harder than the last / So your character grows greater each stride / May your company be of humble insignificance / May your weakness be your only source of pride

Chorus Refrain 1: What you do unto others may it all be done to you / May you meet the one who made us / And see him smile when life is through. (String Interlude)

Chorus Refrain 2: May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they’d be / And when you look upon the broken / May mercy show you what you could not see.

May you never be sure of any plans you desire / But you’d learn to trust the plan he has for you / May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire / May you fight with all your life for what is true.

I have prayed for you now all of my dear and faithful friends / But what I wish is more than I could ever speak / As the way wanders on I’ll long to see you once again / Until then, would you pray these prayers for me? / Oh that you would pray for me.

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Reviewed by Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com

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