Fireflies and Songs (Bonus Track Version)
Sara Groves has long been one of Christian folk-pop’s most eloquent singer/songwriters, inviting comparison with Joni Mitchell, Shawn Colvin and Feist. This time, she veers away from the issues of social justice examined on previous albums towards matters closer to home. Songs like “This House” and the title track are luminous invocations of childhood memory from a grown-up perspective. Even better are darker-edged songs dealing with marital discord (“It’s Me”) and free-floating alienation (“From This One Place”). When Groves sings from a place of contentment — as she does in “Twice As Good” and “Different Kinds of Happy” — her words are grounded in a sense of struggle. The breezy, bluegrass-tinged “Setting Up the Pins” offers some lighthearted escape from the heavier themes here. “Joy Is in Our Hearts” concludes the album on an uplifting note. Groves’ dusky, slightly wistful vocals are bolstered by supple acoustic arrangements, framed overall by Charlie Peacock’s sparse, empathetic production.