“My hope is that the Lord would take these songs as far as He wants and that people will use them to minister to the heart of God, giving the Lamb the reward of our praise that He deserves.”
Gretzinger attended the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and started her music career in the Bethel Music Collective. She released her first project, The Undoing, through Bethel Music in 2014. She now lives in Nashville and is partnered with the Provident Music Group.
Music and Production
The Narrow Way has some songs that could be used for corporate worship, but the album falls more onto the performative side. Gretzinger says the songs were, “birthed from prayers in the secret place and from conversations around the table with family and friends.”
Musically, Gretzinger clearly shows the influence of Bethel Music and most offerings in contemporary Christian music. So, unfortunately, she doesn’t bring much new to the musical landscape. All but one of her songs falls in the low seventies BPM and opens with a piano arpeggio over airy synth soundscapes. This gives the songs a meditative vibe that builds into more energetic peaks but also causes them to sound very similar. That being said, if that is Gretzinger’s artistic intention then she hits the mark, and many will be comfortable with the standard CCM sound so prominent today.
Stand Out Songs
No Turning Back draws from the traditional hymn I Have Decided to Follow Jesus by Simon Marak and Sadhu Sundar Singh. The original hymn is based on the last words of the Indian martyr, Nokseng of Garo, as he and his family were killed for their faith. Gretzinger teams with Leeland in the remake with a piano and ethereal elements to start the song. It then adds a restrained rhythm section, giving it a little more weight. My one critique would be that Gretzinger and Leeland use a great deal of musical real estate with repetition instead of expounding on the theme of the song. But, the original hymn is similar, so perhaps it just is what it is.
The title song, The Narrow Way, reflects on the narrow path to God and asks for God’s guidance. The song is contemplative in its arrangement, again using airy and ethereal synth elements over a heavy rhyme section in the climax. It’s a fine song, but does not offer much originality.
Gretzinger stays conservative with this album, keeping within the CCM guard rails musically and lyrically. Many will find this comforting, as it offers a familiar listening experience. Her performance taps into the musical emotion of each piece. The Narrow Way is heart-felt at its core, showing Gretzinger’s prayerful approach to her art.
Meditative and heartfelt.
Gretzinger could stretch out more artistically.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.