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The Story of Love
Artist: Kathy Troccoli
Label: Indie (KT)

Kathy Troccoli can't help it if she sounds sultry. The combination of breathiness and throatiness in her voice exudes a seductive charm that shines through especially when she tones her more diva-esque tendencies down a notch to accommodate her love for a good, spiritually sound show tune.

She does just that to bookend The Story of Love, her 18th (!) album celebrating Troccoli's 25th year in CCM. Apart from harnessing her velvety alto to any dance tracks for the constituency who still wants her to follow through with more of her early '90s "Everything Changes" vibe, Story plays upon most of Troccoli's strengths.

Just as she was introduced to the public in the early '80s, KT still makes the most of shiny arrangements with building grandeur. "Make My Life A Prayer To You" takes her there with devotional fervor. Just as she sings of Jesus in no uncertain terms there, the equally lustrous "Friend For Life" could be either about the Lord or Troccoli's own undying amity.

Elsewhere she employs smaller combos and holds back her power accordingly. Apart from the opening "Pick Yourself Up" and closing "The Glory of Love," KT adapts scripture to similarly soft-spoken ends. "1 Cor 13" becomes a simmering samba, and "Psalm 34," slow chamber pop piece with acoustic guitar, piano and cello. Troccoli's own "Dancing Me Through This Life" and David Edwards' "Mercy" benefit from similarly minimal, though the latter finds KT going a bit into her power surge mode.

Whether she can accrue the favor of CCM radio as an indie act the same way she did on a major label may be a bit early to tell. Regardless of changing fashion, she's artfully giving her all here.

Jamie Lee Rake  December 18, 2006



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