We are surrounded by the uplifting, upbeat and sometimes overtly exuberant songs about faith, joy, and love in Christ. However there is a resurgence and need for songs that express heartache, suffering, and a crying out to God. Rachel Wilhelm recognizes the lack of true lament in many worship songs, and has released an album that is both achingly beautiful and reverent, yet approachable for the hurting heart. Such a delicate balance is wrought between melody and lyric, never dallying too long into something that will render the lament useless, and never dives into a depth of darkness without the ray of hope that is found within the gospels. Rachel’s Songs of Lament is an exploration born out of scriptures from Psalms, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Habbakkuk.
What makes Songs of Lament both haunting and emotionally barren is Rachel’s vocals. There’s a tenderness mixed with some raw turmoil that has the potential to engage the listener in a powerful way, if the listener allows. “Have Mercy Now on Us” draws us into the emotional exhaustiveness that many find in their faith and opens the door for the rest of the album in song and lyric to pour out emotions through lament. Many of Rachel’s song are like “Psalm 13” prodding into the emotive, while “Wayward Bride” takes the viewpoint of God, viewing us as a runaway bride. The latter part of Songs of Lament wades deeply into Habbukkuk, rife with minor keys, and laden with anguishable woe, it’s a marvelous listen.
Rachel brings her experience as a worship leader into this project, with the intent for use in corporate worship. Out of this knowledge and her role in the church, Songs of Lament takes an often overlooked side of faith, the lack of vulnerability we have with God, each other and ourselves and presents a selection of songs that guide us through the cold exterior into a rich velvety envelope of lament.
Crying is good.
You need this album if you are hurting.
You need this album if you are angry.
You need this album if you just can’t anymore.
Rachel Wilhelm lives in Minneapolis, MN