Spoken word artist Egypt Speaks is back with a new album, and her artistry and skills are at top form, showing growth as a person and an artist. The aptly named Wanderer explores the experiences, emotions, and questions of a wandering soul in a season of uncertainty.
Wanderer starts very uniquely, with a track simply titled “October 1, 2014.” This is a kind of walk down memory lane, an audio clip of one of Egypt’s friends asking her questions about an upcoming tour, and why she was doing this whole poetry thing. Perhaps a reminder now of why she started this whole journey in the first place.
The title track truly sets a pensive mood, the gentle sound of rain in the background, a melancholy melody on the piano. “Wanderer” is the cry of a heart searching for home, that place where it genuinely belongs and is welcomed. Egypt’s voice is brimming with emotion as she wonders what it means to find home, engaging the listener and drawing them in.
“How Are You” is a track that has made an appearance before, but could possibly be considered Egypt’s personal mission statement of sorts. A mission to greet everyone with a sincere interest, and not simply an off-hand question that gets tossed around so freely without any patience to hear the honest answer. “How Are You” is a refreshing reminder that someone actually cares, and perhaps a challenge to be that person to someone else.
“Honest” is just that, the honest thoughts of someone contemplating what it means to be vulnerable. Realizing there is a God that is there for us, willing to catch us when we fall and accept all of us, even the parts we wouldn’t want anyone else to see. “Honest” is a simple track, no background music. Just a wanderer baring her soul in hopes to reach others and let them know they’re not alone.
In an effort to capture the essence of home, “41.795961, -71.409946” was titled as such to represent the place where Egypt’s grandmother, who built a strong foundation for her family, was born and raised. It’s a track reminiscing about the fanciful memories from childhood, the monsters hiding in the basement, and the love and guidance of a grandmother. A place where your heart can find a home, without having to put up a façade of perfection.
“We’re Gonna Be Ok” is an incredible, comforting track. The guitar provides such a warm atmosphere for Egypt’s reassuring voice, pondering where one has come from and where one is going. Pondering the purpose of this life, where there can be so much heartbreak, and moments where it can be tempting to end it all. But amidst all the troubles and suffering, there is hope, a future, new dreams and places to discover. There may be some bumps along the way, but in the end, it will all be okay.
“March 25, 2019” ends the album appropriately, in much the same way that it started, with a friend asking Egypt questions about what she is doing and why. Even though much has changed in the last five years, she still has the same motivation, to love God and to love people. In this track, it is evident that Egypt is more confident and more comfortable in her own skin. This can be discerned throughout the whole album.
In addition to speaking comforting words of truth, Egypt is quite the talented musician, providing all the background music on the album. Her voice is strong and confident, yet her vulnerability shines through. Wanderer is an excellent album, full of encouragement and relatable struggles. We all want to know that we’re not alone in this world, and Wanderer provides that sense of camaraderie.