Christianity is a lot like rock music. Groups of people looking for something to reassure them of their own mortality. Rock digs deep under your skin, slowly enveloping you until the immediacy of it makes you want to scream. With Christianity the feeling is opposite; you scream because it’s slowly stifling. On her new album, Letting Go, Jennifer Knapp comes out of the Christian music scene defiantly kicking and screaming like an insolent child. Knapp’s latest effort is good and makes a decent effort towards a folk rock sound but ultimately it feels more like a whimper than a scream.
“Dive In,” the best track on the album, tells a story, Knapp’s story. The tiresome dilemma of the singer-songwriter whose prose preaches the opposite of how they live; holding back until they’re on the precipice of their own lies. The new found honesty makes Knapp’s lyrics more vulnerable and at times more susceptible to cliches. The structure of “Fallen” tells the listener it is more somber, heavy in Knapp’s own plight as a homosexual in the midst of Christianity: “All the ancient stories that hold a bitter end/Not with you my friend.” Though the new direction of Knapp’s music is a significant change, her voice and song breakdowns don’t seem too different.
Despite the serious themes of the album, offering opportunities for more complex song structures, Knapp’s efforts to establish herself as a folk rock musician seem futile and unimaginative.