When fronting the Gateway Worship team, Kari Jobe is a fearless praise leader, a commanding vocalist who has no trouble breaking through her church's larger-than-life wall of sound. When she steps off the platform, though, she is almost the antithesis: Kari Jobe, her winsome debut as a soloist, is at once delicate and unassuming, maybe even inspirational. She favors organic, earthy backdrops, all brimming with warm acoustics, upright pianos, and barely there pop accents -- award-winning producer Ed Cash is in his element here. Occasionally, there are shades of megachurch grandiosity, but they're attributable to the source material, as is the case with Jobe's take on Hillsong's "Healer" and Gateway's own "Revelation Song," which here is given a slightly Celtic flair. The rest finds Jobe channeling her inner Twila Paris -- she is worshipful, reverential, and hardly ever showy. She can't be: she is a worshiper first, aware that the object of her affection isn't only listening to her praises, but is also singing them right back to her in songs like "My Beloved," a disarmingly beautiful ode from God to his church. These exchanges are both casual and devotional, striking a rare balance between personal and reverent worship that positions Kari Jobe as one of the most pleasant CCM surprises of 2009.
AllMusic Review by Andree Farias