Sarah Macintosh:



My #3 Album

in 2012


in 2011 independently; re-released by Integrity Records in 2012

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This page was created in early 2014.

It was first published on March 30, 2014.

Sarah Macintosh first appeared with the brother/sister trio Chasing Furies -- Sarah, Rachel, and Joshua Meeker.  Born and raised in Texas, her grandfather was a Southern Baptist pastor and her father was a worship leader.

    Sarah Macintosh’s last album, The Waiters, The Watchers, The Listeners, The Keepers, and Me, was my #4 album of 2008, and the album she recorded with her siblings as the group Chasing Furies, With Abandon, was my #5 album of 1999.  And here she is again in my annual music awards, this time with the highest spot ever at #3, and with an album that is clearly my favorite of the three.

    With Abandon had stunningly beautiful music, and artistic lyrics, but sometimes the lyrical meaning was a bit inaccessible.  Sarah’s last album had very accessible lyrics, but with a couple of exceptions, the music was not as interesting as what was on With AbandonCurrent brings it all together, though -- lyrics that are artistic yet still accessible, and music that is interesting and captivating.  I am writing this page in 2014, and even now, I still listen to this album frequently.  It is one not to miss.

    I don’t know how to describe the musical style; any label I try to put on it doesn’t seem to fit well.  Alternative pop is the closest thing I can think of to describe it: It’s not radio-friendly stuff either musically or lyrically, but it feels more like pop music than rock or folk.  The instrumentation does not seem to focus on acoustic or electric guitars or keyboards, but rather the music is there as a whole, creating a mood and sound for her lyrics.

    Though I really like the music on this album, I think it is the lyrics that have made the album stick with me so tightly. There is a communion with God on this album that I can deeply relate to.  In fact, this album has become a kind of theme album for me.  Every quarter, I go on a private prayer retreat at a hermitage, and on my trip there and often my return trip as well, I often listen to this album.  It’s great preparation for that time with God (going there), and is other-worldly enough to fit for listening on the way home when I’ve been in such close communion with God for the weekend.

    The album begins with “Current,” with the imagery of the way we get pulled by currents that cause us to drift away from God -- “Life is a current, pulling us out to the sea” -- and calling on God to carry us to Him and not let us go.  And for me, that is an opening theme for this album, since the subsequent songs have a focus of crying out, clinging to God, drawing near to Him.  The album consists of a mixture of wading through difficult times and rejoicing in God’s goodness, but whether down or up, always deep in relationship with Him.  Something I’ve always liked about Chasing Furies and Sarah Macintosh is that they don’t shy away from sober moods and dark sounds; they like to be real.  Christians have times of rejoicing in God, but certainly like any other humans, have plenty of times of darkness, and I like to hear albums that meet me where I am in such times.  This one does that, but that doesn’t mean it’s a depressing album, by any means, because of the recognition that it’s in those dark times that we often have the most intimate encounters with God.

   Here are some examples of those darker moments songs.    “The Damaged” begins, “Red is the color of my heart as it cries, pouring like the river torn apart as it pleads...”  Another song begins, “I’ve wept until I’ve made a visible trail.”  In “Hiding Place” are the lyrics, “How I have cried and crumpled there at Your feet.”  Yet in all of these songs is the recognition that in the darkness, we have the opportunity for a closer experience with God.  “When the road is long and the mountain steep, let [me] ...find myself calling after You” are the opening lines from “Calling, Calling.”  From “You’re Coming”: “This darkness is stalking me here.”  The song “Hiding Place” continues, “There in the dark you see me, hidden from all; You say my name, You know and You see...You are my hiding place, close with Your arms around me; though it is dark, I know You’re near, and Your thoughts are of me.” 

from “Laughter Comes Upon Us”

This path has not been kind or ever friendly

But if I thought I’d want it another way

I’d surely find that nothing else is for me

‘Cause He is closer to me this way

Drawn by the tears and the pouring rain

Right here clutched in His embrace

Whispering breath against my ear

Tucked up against His scarred ribcage

Right here is where I want to stay

I think the words from “Laughter Comes Upon Us” that I’ve posted to the left of this paragraph are an excellent example of the lyrical theme of this album: There may be dark times, but He is there with us, and we may have our most intimate moments with Him in those times.

    Intimacy!  Yes, I think that’s why this album resonates with me so much. I seek an intimate relationship with my God, and that is the nature of this album.  The lyrics reflect that intimacy, and the music fits along perfectly.

    I’ve spoken quite a bit about the lyrical elements that acknowledge the hard times in life; now I want to focus on the lyrics in the album that engage in rejoicing.

    In “Take It All,” after a time of surrender, the song ends with a jubilant, “I will be found in You!”  “We Should Run” ends with, “Now our feet will run, yes our eyes they see, and our hearts rejoice; how your people sing!”  Excited anticipation of Christ’s return is found in “You’re Coming”: “Like a flash of light, we will see You coming, then while the skies retreat, Your glory fills our eyes. Shouts, building with the wind, Your people they’re calling Gloria! Gloria!”

    My favorite song on the album is “Hope.”  This song also anticipates our day of meeting Jesus, the jubilation described in these words:  “We will run, we will laugh, we will dance, we will shout, when You’re back for us!”  One time when listening to this one, I was so caught up in the anticipation and excitement that it almost felt like my feet were off the ground and I was on my way up.  That’s just one of many intense and personal, deeply spiritual experiences I have had while listening to this album.  This album is definitely a God-connection for me, music and lyrics that are a conduit into God’s presence.  That’s what makes this album so special to me.

    The album ends with a song that is a perfect summary of the lyrical themes:

We will weep and we will cry

But joy comes in the morning

Though the tears may flood our eyes

Joy comes in the morning

Though we may feel we’re on the run

Though life may deal a crushing blow

Hold out for hope, Allelu, Alleluia!

Raise up your head, Allelu, Allelu

Look to the dawn, Allelu, Alleluia

‘Cause joy comes in, yes it’s moving in

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

Unlike Buddhism, which is about killing desire to avoid disappointment, basically avoid feeling anything, Christianity is about living life abundantly, to the full.  We experience sorrows deeply, but God is there with us; we experience joyous times, and they are made sweeter with God’s presence.  That’s the essence of Sarah Macintosh’s Current.

Click the play button to hear “Laughter Comes Upon Us” from Current

Two songs from this album fit my situation in 2012.  The chorus from “The Damaged” goes, “I don’t want to be the one who’s broken, ...who falls apart, I don’t want to be damaged.”  What was happening to me during that time, I could easily allow myself to become damaged.  But I don’t want to go there -- I want to give it to Jesus and let him heal me.  And with that comes hope from such a situation, found in another song on the album, “Galaxy Former.”  These words were (and are) important to me amid the disappointment:  “You make all things right.”  I recall Romans 8:28 as I hear these words.



Sarah Macintosh’s Website:

Her blog, more videos of her performances, links to her music and social media

Sarah Macintosh’s YouTube channel:

Sarah Macintosh’s Facebook page:

Sarah Macintosh’s Twitter:


Sarah Macintosh’s Instagram:

Interview with Sarah Macintosh at Christianity Today:

A video of a studio performance of “Galaxy Former” from Current.  She has more videos of her songs from this album on her website and YouTube channel.