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Tell Me What You Know

Sara Groves

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Album Review

One cannot approach Tell Me What You Know, Sara Groves' sixth album, expecting a lot of surprises. Sure, Groves is a perennial favorite among Christian music critics and audiophiles, but her high marks aren't necessarily a result of innovation or avant-garde career moves as much as of a strong, rock-solid track record of equally strong, rock-solid songwriting about Christian living and faith. Despite being a pop artist at heart, a lot of her depth is lost on more mainstream, radio-weaned Christian audiences, mainly because she dwells in the more sophisticated, triple-A side of pop, not the commercial, big-time pop/rock of, say, a Casting Crowns or a Chris Tomlin. Still, Groves is very comfortable at what she does, so much so that Tell Me What You Know could appear as if it was cut from the same mold as her celebrated The Other Side of Something and Add to the Beauty projects. Of course, Groves realizes how easily this brand of piano-based adult pop comes to her, so she tries to distance herself from her core strengths by way of offbeat, alternative pop — never more evident than in the poignant "Song for My Sons" and the eccentric mini-masterpiece "In the Girl There's a Room." After that, though, she quickly retreats to what she does best — namely, bouncy, quirky pop pieces ("Love Is Still a Worthy Cause"), tender folk dialogs ("Say a Prayer"), and pensive, piano-based balladry ("I Saw What I Saw"), all of which, while not mind-blowingly novel, are indeed moving, thought-provoking numbers, performed with finesse and inspired by Groves' newfound passion for reaching out to the least of these. In this regard, Tell Me What You Know deserves a mention, if not for its overall uniqueness, then for continuing to solidify Groves as one of the most important, consistent Christian singer/songwriters of the new millennium.

Biography

Born: 1972 in Burnsville, MN

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sara Groves, a former high school teacher in her native Rosemont, Minnesota, burst onto the gospel scene at the dawn of the new millennium with her fresh vocals and spiritual songwriting. She's been compared to the likes of Shawn Colvin and Rich Mullins; however, Groves defines her own musical demeanor. She cannot be limited to one exact label, for her contemporary Christian hooks also meld into delicate pop. Signed to Epic, Groves issued her debut, Conversations, in early 2001, followed by a string...
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Tell Me What You Know, Sara Groves
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