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4.6 out of 5 stars
As Long As It Takes
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Produced by Jason Ingram and Rusty Varenkamp, the duo that also produced Word Records recording artist Meredith Andrews' debut record The Invitation, As Long As It Takes is the result of a two year wait since the release that launched the hits "You Invite Me In", "You're Not Alone" and "New Song We Sing." She was accurately described as one of Billboard Magazine's "Faces to Watch" in 2008. For me, Meredith brings sincerity and relatable themes that get deeper with each listen. My favorite albums are the ones that continue to provide new revelations over time by savoring them and The Invitation paved the way for that experience. As Long As It Takes is in that same mold and is fitting as the title track is based on Meredith's experiencing the pressure of song-writing, "I was empty and tired and feeling this pressure. It's the music industry and when you're writing for your sophomore record, they say that's the hardest to write. I was trying to prove myself. Okay God, this is where I am. I'm helpless. I'm empty and dry, but I'm just going to sit here until you fill me and wait until you speak and until you move me."

I think I can safely say in my opinion that God answered Meredith's prayer of faithfully waiting on Him. I didn't think it was possible, but somehow this album has topped The Invitation. I find that what I liked most about Meredith's first album were the amazing album tracks that weren't singles like "The River" and "Who Is Like You," which in my opinion are equaled with standout songs "Never Move On" and "In Your Arms," which was co-written with Jared Anderson of Desperation Band. There are also many songs that I expect will make their way onto Christian radio, starting with the lead single "Can Anybody Hear Me?", which has already climbed into the Top 20. "Live Through Me" and "My Soul Sings," co-written with Stu Garrard of Delirious? are in the vein of "New Song We Sing" and "You Invite Me In" and I hope to sing those songs with fellow believers in the near future, along with closing song "How Great Is The Love" which was co-written by well-known worship leader Paul Baloche, who also recorded the song on his album Glorious.

As Long As It Takes includes eleven new tracks from the singer-songwriter who wrote or co-wrote every song based on her life experiences. "Come Home" was written for Andrews' younger brother. "What It Means To Love" was inspired by a life changing encounter with a young orphan boy diagnosed as HIV positive, McKinsley, that Andrews met on her first trip to Haiti.

CLOSING THOUGHTS
If you like Natalie Grant, Nichole Nordeman and Bethany Dillon, then you'll really enjoy Meredith Andrews. If you are looking for one of the top female solo albums of the year, then look no further than As Long As It Takes, which currently holds a spot in my top 10 albums of 2010 and will be hard to replace as I'm sure it will continue to challenge, inspire and move me. This is truly a great album and uplifting worship experience.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2010
As Long As It Takes is a good follow-up album to The Invitation, featuring the same strong vocal performances and accessible lyrics that defined that first album. It is really just more of the same for Meredith: not better, not worse. In this case, though, that's a good thing. With arrangements crafted around the timbre of her voice and the ease of the lyrical flow, it's hard to not like Meredith's sound. For the pop contemporary female niche, you're hard-pressed to find something more pleasing.

The only gripe I have on this album is the lack of convincing musical climaxes that I enjoyed on her first album. On almost every song on The Invitation, there would be one point - a vocal embellishment, musical flourish, or well-timed rhythm fill - that I could point to and say, "that's it." (As a side note: pianist and composer Sergei Rachmaninoff used to write one of these "musical points" into almost every one of his compositions, and it's what separates good music from truly great music or even transcendent music, if you will.) It's the part that would stick in my head and the moment to which I would let the music build when I listened. These moments in As Long As It Takes, while present, just aren't as convincing or well-executed as the ones on The Invitation. The result is an album that is a little less memorable then it should have been.

In conclusion, As Long As It Takes is a polished, well-paced album featuring a convincing vocal performance by a woman who is filled with new life. You can't go wrong with this album. A few months after I had picked up Meredith's first album, The Invitation, I was wishing for more songs, more of her beautiful voice to listen to. Here it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2010
Most of Meredith Andrews' music is fun & catchy or contemplative, which I enjoy very much, but then there are the few songs that are just breathtaking. "All Will Fade Away" ('caught up'- wow) and "As Long As It Takes" are amazing to me. Her voice is truly anointed. This album is even more moving than "The Invitation" (which I highly recommend) and I hope she never deviates from this sound: sincere and womanly, filled with happy reverence for her Savior and the earnest desire to share His love with the listener. Just beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2010
I actually discovered Meredith Andrews through Amazon as it suggested artists I might like based on previous purchases. Her voice is beautiful, and her style is heavenly. It really appeals to the modern population.
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Okay, true confessions time. I don't often enjoy worship CD's. (Is that okay for a Christian to say?) Now don't misunderstand me. I love worship songs. I love singing them in church or in smaller groups. But when I listen to a worship CD, I often find myself bored with the music.

That's why I was surprised when I enjoyed Meredith Andrews' debut as much as I did. While it certainly had worship tracks, there was a deeper aspect to it. And the variety of styles helped the songs stand out. So I was quite anxious to get her follow up, As Long As It Takes. Unfortunately, it's not as good as it could be.

The biggest problem with the disc is that most of the songs sound the same to me. After one or two songs, my brain starts to wander, and I have to force myself to listen to the words and the songs. When I first turn it on, I'll find myself enjoying the song that is playing, but from there, it just gets monotonous. Surprisingly, the biggest culprit here is the electric guitar. It's too heavy and almost overpowers the lyrics at times.

That's not to say there's aren't some good songs here. I absolutely love "Can Anybody Here Me?" This is a praise song for the trials of life. For the verses, Meredith questions if God is with her during her struggles, but on the bridge, she reconfirms her faith in a God she can't see. No, it doesn't solve her problems, but she recommits to trust God in her circumstances. The song starts out with some nice keyboard, but is soon overwhelmed by the electric guitar.

Another song I like is "My Soul Sings." Musically, it fits the strong electric guitar mold. It's a bit on the upbeat side (not that any of the songs get into true rock territory). Verse one talks about how God knew sin would come into the world from before creation, and verse two praises the sacrifice of Jesus for being all we need for salvation. The chorus is pure praise. This is the kind of song I can picture singing in church.

One of the few truly quiet moments on the disc is the final track, "How Great is the Love." This slower track does still incorporate the electric guitar, but they aren't over powering. In fact, they cut out at times so we can really hear the keyboards. Lyrically, the song focuses on Jesus' love for us by dying on the cross for our sins. It doesn't get too deep, but it focuses my eyes on Jesus.

The most personal song on here is "Come Home." Meredith wrote it as a plea to her brother to come back. Frankly, I don't know the story behind the song, but the lyrics are a great example of the unconditional love that a family should be showing each other. While a couple of the lines are definitely human in nature, much of the song does work as a plea from God to those of us too ashamed by our sinful past to turn to him. But again, the song sounds so similar to those around it. This one has some strings, but they are all but overwhelmed by that blasted electric guitar.

There are some interesting moments on the rest of the disc. "All Will Fade Away" starts out with piano and some ethereal vocals from Meredith. "Never Move On" starts out the disc with an upbeat, fun number marveling in God's grace. Frankly, the themes of God's love and mercy and our commitment to Him as a response run through many of the remaining songs. May we never forget the wonder of these truths. But the electric guitar is such a strong presence it lets the great messages all blend together.

This is one of those discs I enjoy in small doses. There are some great songs here; Meredith Andrews has a wonderful gift for writing songs that bring the old familiar truths alive in new ways. But I hope that her follow up to As Long As It Takes gives her more variety in the musical side of things so I can enjoy it better.
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on January 12, 2014
This is a great cd! I love Meredith's music as she sings from her heart and it's very God inspired.
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on November 5, 2013
As good as this gets.....It is a treasure that no one can regret having this in their library. Happy to recommend
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on September 18, 2013
this download was chalk full of great songs and inspirational sentiments. quality is good and i had no problems downloading it ... i love it!
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on May 28, 2013
I selected this rating because the cd is awesome. Every song speaks to you as a believer where ever you are in your walk.
I love the songs because they are speaking to me on where I am in my spiritual walk.
I would recommend this cd for everyone believers and non believers.
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on May 11, 2013
We have been singing some of Meredith's songs at church. This is one of Meredith's older CDs, but it's just as good as her newer work. Her lyrics are classic Christian. She'll be enjoyed by younger listeners as well as older Christians.
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