Look Up Child
Lauren Daigle opens Look Up Child with a powerful image. “Still Rolling Stones,” a soulful midtempo number with shades of Adele, envisions Jesus emerging from the tomb after his crucifixion, then seamlessly connects the dots between his miraculous resurrection and her own living, growing faith. It’s the kind of song that’s become synonymous with Daigle: hopeful in its message, unflinching in its faith, and modern in its thinking, with infectious production and an earworm of a melody, to boot. The rest of the record unfolds in similar, if increasingly grander, fashion—an unusually singular LP in a genre that can occasionally fall prey to risk-averse homogeneity. And that’s what makes Daigle one of contemporary Christian music’s most potent and interesting artists. She’s a powerhouse singer, soulful and agile and with a keen ear for dynamics; she knows which moments call for quiet softness and which demand a full-on belt. Her interpretation of faith feels grounded and open, with a focus on love and hopefulness rather than dogma exclusivity. These qualities have allowed Daigle to straddle the line between contemporary Christian music and regular old pop, a rare feat for a solo artist now but which recalls earlier genre stars like Amy Grant or more rock-adjacent acts like Relient K and Switchfoot. Technically her third studio album (her second is the 2016 Christmas record Behold), Look Up Child introduced Daigle to a much broader audience, thanks to the strength of singles like “You Say,” which cracked the mainstream Top 40 chart and won Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song at the 2019 Grammys, and the record’s title track. Look Up Child was a critical and commercial success for Daigle, who won another Grammy at that 2019 ceremony, for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album. Highlights include “Rescue,” in which Daigle envisions the presence of God in her darkest moments, and “Losing My Religion,” a clever track about finding real faith by letting go of rules and structure. “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” is the kind of outlier that oddly makes an album feel more cohesive. A traditional hymn and the only track Daigle didn’t co-write, the song pairs a potent message with contemporary production, building a musical bridge in the way only Daigle can.