Back & Forth - Lanaé Hale

by: 

C.W. Ross
May 18, 2009

On Back & Forth, her first full-length release, Lanaé Hale bares her soul with a real honesty that's not often found in any music style, especially not in this age of bubble gum pop music.

Lanaé Hale looks like she could be the carefree, cute, girl-next-door, but she's had to overcome a lot in her life to get herself to this point. Hale grew up in the church but could never really accept the fact that God truly loved her. So at the age of 17, after a bad breakup with a longtime boyfriend, she starting cutting herself in an attempt to deal with all of the pain that she was feeling. She has also had to deal with over-use of sleeping aids, and alcohol.

Hale says that all of the songs found on "Back & Forth" aren't autobiographical, "but they are the result of living through some desperate moments and some years of pain, and of making that journey with Christ to find hope and wholeness again. And there are definitely autobiographical elements in there too."

By now you're probably thinking that this is going to be a really depressing album to listen to, but the exact opposite is true. While the songs do deal with some very heavy subject matter, that's offset by the promise of hope and love that Christ can bring in to a broken life that's also found in the songs.

That's the reason she Lanaé Hale this album, "I want people who are suffering to know that there really is hope on the other side of brokenness, because when I was struggling, I didn't have hope but I desperately wanted it," Lanaé says. "God worked miracles and literally saved my life. So if I can use the platform I have now to tell people that there is hope in Christ, and even beyond that there's freedom and life abundant, then that's what I want to do."

While it's the messages found in the songs that really drive this release the music is also well done and hold its own. Hale's vocals verge on stellar with a bit of whimsy found in them that's reminiscent of a Julie Miller like tone. Hale also shows her wide vocals range nailing the highest of notes with perfection.

The songs also offer up nice instrumentation that knows there part is to help drive the song while staying out of the spotlight, like the rich strings found on the track, "If I'm Broken."

Tempo wise the song fall mostly into an upbeat pop range, mixed with both the occasional more rock edged along with a few more melodic tracks.

Lanaé Hale's release, "Back & Forth," falls in to that rare category where the message found in it transcends the music itself. This release offers up a lifeline to those who are in desperate situations.

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