by John Ellis
This review is long overdue. Released just over a year ago, A Home & a Hunger: Songs of Kingdom Hope by Caroline Cobb has been one of the most oft played albums in my house. And for good reason.
After the beautiful prologue “There Is a Mountain” that calls the listener to come to Jesus and experience the gracious love of a King who humbled himself in order to save sinners, Cobb launches into a musical telling of the Bible’s story, beginning with “Eve’s Lament.”
Written from our first mother’s perspective, “Eve’s Lament” is a mournful retelling of how Satan-Serpent tempted her with the promise of freedom and the fulfillment of desire. As the song nears its end, the tone shifts somewhat to the promise that “every child of mine will feel the Serpent’s bite.” Thankfully, the song concludes with the reminder of God’s promise that “One will crush his head.”
“Eve’s Lament” correctly diagnoses humanity’s problem – rebellion against God resulting in our estrangement from our Creator. Therefore, Caroline Cobb sets herself up to build an album on truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, because she is concerned with adhering to the Biblical story, Cobb doesn’t allow the listener to emotionally steep in our first parent’s rebellion. The third track, “He Has Made a Way,” transitions to God’s mercy in saving His undeserving people from Egypt.
And so goes the rest of A Home & a Hunger. Thankfully. And wonderfully.
Culminating in “Behold, Behold,” Cobb ends her musical telling of the Bible’s story where the Bible ends – in the promised glorious final Rest of God for those who are repenting of their sins and placing their faith in Jesus. The refrain, “Oh, come, Lord Jesus, come,” transitions into the second verse, sung by Cobb with gratefulness that, “The Lord will banish every sin; all that’s broken, he will mend and make new. And we will see him face to face, as he wipes our tears away. Death is through. And all the ransomed and redeemed, from every tribe and tongue will sing, ‘Behold, behold, God makes His home with us.’”
While attempting to avoid hyperbole, I must confess that “Behold, Behold” is one of the most beautiful, worshipful, and praise-inducing songs I’ve heard. Which is fitting since those superlatives also apply to the whole of A Home & a Hunger.
As someone who loves music and has music playing almost nonstop while working, playing, and even eating, I lament the slide away from wholistic albums and back to stand-alone singles as musicians chase plays on Spotify. Although, I must shamefully admit I too have curated my own playlists of my favorite songs. Pushing back against that A Home & a Hunger resists being spliced up into individual parts.
While the songs are beautifully written, well-produced, and thoughtfully interpreted by Cobb’s engaging vocals, and are able to be enjoyed individually, the album begs to be listened to as a whole. And that’s a testament to Caroline Cobb’s ability as a storyteller and her understanding of Biblical theology as a story. Sometimes it takes an artist to tell the first and greatest Artist’s Story.
A Home & a Hunger’s musical pedigree includes Gabe Scott, who has produced for Andrew Peterson. Cobb has also enlisted the help of Jill Phillips and Shane Barnard on a couple of the tracks. But, make no mistake, Caroline Cobb is the artistic force behind the album. Her song-writing, composing, and vocals are what make A Home & a Hunger an album that glorifies God, reminds the listener of our hope in Jesus, and provides a listening experience that will call the listener back again and again to enjoy an album filled with excellent music.
You can purchase A Home & a Hunger: Songs of Kingdom Hope by clicking here.