Self-proclaimed “pint-sized poet” Egypt Speaks is back with Cathedrals, another thought-provoking album. Cathedrals explores the wisdom gained from life experience, as well as wisdom learned from those who have walked this path before us.
The album starts with “Walls,” which features Egypt playing guitar and singing. She sings about the walls she has created and the valleys of her own making that she has walked through. Even though this track speaks of some darkness, it ends on a more positive note. It claims the promise of God that we will never walk alone. Next up is “Word Play,” which, as the title suggests, is a clever play on words. Even after several times listening, there are more nuances to be discovered. Todde Funk, of Diverse City, lends some of his cool bass work to this track, giving it some added depth.
“Cathedrals” is a multi-layered composition, a metaphor for the church, and our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. The human experiences that make up our existence are as varied as the colors of a stained-glass window. And these cathedrals should not just be empty shells, but be filled with a compassionate and welcoming spirit. The somber tone of Egypt’s voice and the background music effectively convey these truths.
“Just Leave Me a Message” starts off simple enough with what is very likely a relatively accurate depiction of what touring life can be like. As is the experience with many of us, things start out innocent enough, and we can allow little things to become distractions. If we’re not careful and intentional, those little things can begin to add up until they reach the point where they become our main focus. The second half of “Just Leave Me a Message” is a collection of voicemails. They start out like any normal missed call: “Hey friend, sorry I missed you. I’ll catch you later”. But by the end of the track, they reveal a life that has gone too far off the path, with friends concerned about the spiritual health of someone they love. It is sobering to hear this progression, and it can cause one to reevaluate their own spiritual health.
The next poem, “Sometimes I Like the Silence” is the follow-up, Egypt’s response, an earnest and honest prayer and confession. You can feel her emotions escaping from the speakers and sense the feeling in her voice. Appropriately, there is no background music on this track; just silence. She confesses to God that things had been easier when she was talking to Him on a regular basis, and she wants to get back to that place of fellowship. This poem is a great reminder that we need that fellowship with our Creator in order to be completely fulfilled in this life.
One of the most personal poems on the album is “The Gospel According to Nana”. Against the backdrop of a groovy piano riff, Egypt’s grandmother imparts her somewhat sarcastic words of wisdom. After each pearl, Egypt expounds the underlying meaning behind each statement. The listener gets the impression that Egypt has truly come to respect, understand, and appreciate what her grandmother has been telling her for many years.
With each album released, Egypt continues to mature. The content of her poems contains an impressive depth of wisdom, far beyond her years. She is an excellent story teller and has an engaging way of speaking that draws the listener in and holds their attention. Cathedrals is another great addition to an already impressive body of work. It is well worth taking the time to listen and let the wisdom permeate your soul.