Guest / Limited Access /
With Love
Our Rating
5 Stars - Masterpiece
Average Rating
(4 user ratings) ADD YOURS Help
Release Date
February 14, 2012

Style: Indie folk/pop; compare to Sara Groves, Denison Witmer, Over the Rhine

Top Tracks: "Like Wildflowers," "Two Worlds Collide," "Sometimes Love"

Just in time for Valentine's Day, after a four-year record-making hiatus, Rosie Thomas returns to the studio to continue charming listeners with her effortless, laid-back melodies. Since her last release—a 2008 Christmas album—Thomas has been given plenty of creative fodder. With Love follows a bittersweet two years, ranging from the highs of a wedding to the lows of an anxiety-producing thyroid disorder. Thomas says she "woke up one morning, and the sun shined in the window, and … the world felt like it was back on my side again or vice versa, and I finally fit in again." Here, she brings more unfailing honesty than ever and a versatility that proves this delicate vocalist can belt it out when warranted.

Lovely acoustic piano and guitar lines remain Thomas' go-to sound, but on With Love, she also experiments with richer, more soulful sounds on tracks like "Two Worlds Collide" and "Back to Being Friends." A more diverse repertoire gives her the opportunity to showcase her improvisational skills and a stronger side to her tender vocals. Rarely does one hear an artist perform quite so effortlessly, with no unconvincing phrases; Thomas seems to live comfortably within her songs. Friends Dave Bazan (Pedro the Lion) and Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) contribute their production and vocal talents, again showcasing the power of collaboration seen on Thomas' 2006 album, These Friends of Mine.

Like folk friend Sufjan Stevens, Thomas' Christian beliefs are organic to her songwriting. Throughout these ten musings on romantic, friendly, and familial love, its source is clear. As Thomas considers the mysteries of love, she seems content despite frustration at its comings and goings. Even while bemoaning the loneliness of waiting "your whole life for someone to finally take a chance on you and you're still waiting in line," she acknowledges, "If it's all about timing, then I'm right where I should be."

The album explores pure love through heartbreaks and missteps ("Two Worlds Collide"), through meaningful friendships ("2 Birds"), and through beauty and wonder ("Really Long Year"). The album's closer, "Sometimes Love," calls to mind Khalil Gibran's famous exposition "On Love," which reminds us that "even as [love] is for your growth, so he is for your pruning."

With Love seems to be not only a journey for the listener but also a celebration for Thomas, who has learned that while sometimes it feels that love exists inside a tricky concoction of risk and trust, its purest and most perfect form still lives in a place devoid of fear.

Browse All Music Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current Issue
Subscriber Access Only Responsible Freedom
Part of our job is to help you think well.
Subscriber Access Only The CT Interview: Saeed Abedini Answers Abuse Allegations
The formerly jailed Iranian American pastor talks to CT about his marriage, his imprisonment, and his hopes for revival.
TrendingCover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Cover Story: Inside the Popular, Controversial Bethel Church
Some visitors claim to be healed. Others claim to receive direct words from God. Is it 'real'--or dangerous?
Editor's PickWhen It Comes to the Next President, We Need More Than Strength
When It Comes to the Next President, We Need More Than Strength
From Trump to Clinton, would-be leaders promise authority without vulnerability.
View this article in Reader Mode
Christianity Today
With Love