Point of Grace, A Thousand Little Things
The past few years have seen transitions within the wheelhouse of Point of Grace. For starters, the popular vocal group evolved from a quartet to a trio, and then they lent their three-part harmonies to a more country-sounding musical bed. Reactions were mixed at best, especially for longtime fans of their tight harmonies and pop-centric sound that saw them climb the charts time and again in the ’90s.
Fans will be pleasantly surprised to learn their latest, A Thousand Little Things, is a fantastic compromise. This time, the group used well-known Christian pop producer Ian Eskelin (Francesca Battistelli, Dara Maclean) instead of country producer Nathan Chapman, who produced their last three albums.
Shelley, Denise and Leigh have found their niche as a three-member group on A Thousand Little Things. While there are still hints of Americana on this new offering, the occasional country nuance is subtle for the most part, and instead finds the girls returning to their pop roots. Look no further than the opening strains of “Good Enough,” an accessible anthem that adds a tiny dash of mandolin on the backend and showcases their beloved harmonies.
Songs like “Heaven Knows” and “Only Jesus” brim with real-life scenarios of hurts only Jesus can heal. The title track employs ukulele (think Francesca Battistelli’s “This Is the Stuff”) to turn this song of gratitude into a carousel of swirling melodies filled with snapshots of the seemingly insignificant things that make life sweet: “Music in the laughter of children as they play/Friends who really love me and walk with me through this life... A quiet porch/A sunset view/A lazy rainy afternoon.”
“What I Already Know” slows things down with a poignant, instrumentally sparse ballad prayerfully asking God to allow us to lean on the familiar truths of faith. It transitions into a delicate instrumental version of “Jesus Loves Me.”
“Wash Me Away,” a highlight, is one of the more Americana-infused tunes with its acoustic soundtrack. The rhythmic guitars keep the honest lyrics flowing. “I Believe In You (Dedication Song)” is a sweet ode to their children, reminiscent of “I Hope You Dance” with its sentimental wishes.
While A Thousand Little Things is definitely a satisfactory melding of two genres, it’s not without a few missteps. “Might Be Today” relies too heavily on the group’s foray into country with lyrics that scratch the surface. And closer “Saving Jesus” makes for an odd ending. While the concept of the song – not using Jesus as a last resort – is well taken, the cut is not nearly as effective as others. The aforementioned “I Believe In You (Dedication Song)” would have packed a much stronger punch at the end.
These songs deal with real-life issues and touch on some of the most hard-hitting topics of their career – addiction, loneliness and infidelity. With A Thousand Little Things, Point of Grace has finally managed to form a graceful balance between their former pop sensibilities and their most recent country leanings.
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