Look Up Child
Sophomore albums are tricky. The artist who poured a lifetime of songwriting must start over with only months to spare. And when the debut was successful, the expectations are bigger, budgets grow to match, and the challenges of fame and distractions of publicity can be taxing.
Lauren Daigle’s debut was a runaway success by all counts, particularly platinum certification and Billboard, Dove, and American Music Award wins and Grammy nominations. And though we’ve seen a deluxe edition and a Christmas album in the interim, Look Up Child is her proper sophomore release. And indeed, expectations are high. The sound is bigger. But is there a paucity of ideas or a lack of direction? A sophomore slump? Decidedly, no.
Daigle’s return is grand. Look Up Child resonates with real faith while avoiding overused praise and worship tropes. Daigle has strong musical roots, enabling her to sound modern and fresh without mimicking the mainstream production-element-du-jour.
This isn’t a retread of How Can It Be. The new album is ballad-heavy, so expect passion but not tempo. At times, Daigle’s Adele-inspired vocal affectations are a little over-the-top, but her delivery remains earnest. The piano is bright, and the album shines brightest in its playful moments, like “Still Rolling Stones” and the reggae-infused “Your Wings.”
This is a heartfelt record that heralds a strong return from one of Christian music’s finest.