Provident Label Group
Release Date: August 20th 2021
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- What You Can’t Forget
Leanna Crawford would have to be one of my favourite new artists within the CCM realm over the last few years or so- up there with artists like Tasha Layton, Apollo LTD, Cochren & Co. and Pat Barrett, to name a few. Upon signing to Story House Collective / Provident Label Group in early 2020, and on the back of her successful (moderately) EP titled Crazy Beautiful You in 2018, this up-and-coming singer-songwriter continues to impress and become an artist that’s certain to follow in the footsteps of people like Riley Clemmons, Hannah Kerr, and even Casting Crowns or Matthew West to becoming a mainstay in CCM in the upcoming months and even years ahead. Leanna continues to impart heartfelt songs to people listening- especially with the release of her second EP that dropped in May 2020, her first on a label. It has been a few years since I first discovered this young artist, and I can remember back then I knew that there was something about her music that made it intriguing and unique to listen to. Now in 2021, we see what the artist Leanna has grown into- one that is confident about who she is singing about, and one who’s not afraid to be a little quirky and weird, because it is often the different that impact people the most. Leanna is one such artist. And upon the success of songs like ‘Crazy Beautiful You’, ‘Write About it’ and ‘Prince Charming’ all those years ago, Leanna offered up 6 new songs from her self-titled label debut in May last year. From that EP came standout singles like ‘Funeral’ and ‘Truth I’m Standing On’, with these 6 songs a definite listen if you’ve enjoyed similar artists like Riley Clemmons or Hannah Kerr. Now fast-forward to August 2021, and Leanna has released a brand-new track ‘What You Can’t Forget’, another heart-stirrer, as this 3:11 piano-prominent song offers up a real, painful, compelling, and messy look at forgiveness, and what happens to someone when they want to forgive someone; but feel that they are not ready in their own psyche to do so.
Leanna’s new song is full of power and emotion, that really challenges the way someone views this notion of forgiveness and how difficult it can be for someone to forgive, because of trauma, past hurts, festering pain, and unreconciled behaviour. Inspired by Christian motivational speaker Lysa TerKeurst and her own personal journey of infidelity and forgiveness that was chronicled in non-fiction book Forgiving What You Can’t Forget, Leanna has offered up this song ‘What You Can’t Forget’, a song full of strings and orchestral sounds as Leanna tackles this big (and often scary) topic of forgiveness. The song itself, is a way of showing the unglamorous side of forgiveness. Because we all can see the side of forgiveness when the act is being done- when the Lord gives us the power to forgive, the power to say sorry, because we all know we can’t do it on our own. But what happens to the other parts of forgiveness that people don’t see? The struggling, because to be frank and honest, a lot of people don’t ‘deserve’ our forgiveness, especially people who have cheated. And while I haven’t read the book by Lysa, I am intrigued to, because upon reading her Wikipedia page, she is still married right now…which means that forgiveness has already taken place (or maybe is still taking place), in regard to the infidelity. And so, this song by Leanna delivers lyrics that showcase he internal turmoil someone may have when wanting to forgive someone, but realising that whatever action that has been done, can never be forgotten. How do you forgive something that you can’t forget? Answer…you don’t, at least not in your own strength. God gives us grace, hope, compassion, and humility in circumstances as these, patience too. Leanna’s song may have better meaning for people who have read Lysa’s book, but it still rings true, regardless of if we’ve read the book or not.
Leanna’s songwriting and vulnerable style of singing is really one of her greatest qualities as a singer-songwriter, and the emotion shown through ‘Mean Girls’ certainly carries on to this song as well. And it is in light of Leanna’s self-titled EP, the re-recorded ‘Mean Girls’, and this new song, that I firmly believe that she’s quickly becoming a good role model for young people everywhere. Following in the footsteps of young artists like Hollyn and Riley Clemmons, and musically (and lyrically) reminding me of artists like Matthew West and Cimorelli; Leanna’s music is certain to become one of the artists that I’ll replay on Spotify and iTunes in the upcoming weeks and months ahead. Well done Leanna for this heartfelt song, hoping, and praying that the Lord uses ‘What You Can’t Forget’ to bring people healing and comfort, especially now during such an uncertain time as this!
RIYL: Matthew West, Casting Crowns, Cimorelli, Riley Clemmons, Hannah Kerr, Francesca Battistelli