Dan MacIntosh Review Elliott Powell Music Ministries

Dan MacIntosh Review

When Elliott Powell sings about being caught in the “thorn and thicket” in the song “Thorn and Thicket,” he’s using a metaphor – I believe — to describe how the things he thinks can sometimes trap him. He begins by singing, “Can’t you see the thought has taken a hold of me?” He sings these words over a lush, but gentle and mainly acoustic pop arrangement. Thickets are very dense stands of trees or tall shrubs, which can trap a traveler physically, if he or she’s not careful. There is also the mental variety.


The song, in part, appears to be inspired by the Bible story of Abraham and Isaac. When Powell sings, “The ram was there/Caught in the thorn and thicket,” it brings to mind the way God provided an animal sacrifice, which meant Abraham would not need to sacrifice his own son after all. Then when he adds, “Talk about testing limits,” this may well refer to how God tested Abraham’s faith by asking him to prepare his son as a sacrifice, just to see how loyal he was to his Maker. It ended up revealing how much he trusted God as well.


Although you may not guess this from the song’s lyrics, this composition was inspired by the artist’s near-fatal automobile accident, as well as his “miraculous” deliverance. Powell is a Christian artist, but he’s not the sort of songwriter that tries to pound a whole lot of theology down your throat. Instead, he makes music that is poetic, yet still inspiring.


Powell is a solo artist now, but he was a founding member of the alternative rock group Joy the Bug, which existed from the late 90s to the early 2000s. The act was even signed to Universal Records. These days, he performs in secular venues, as well as leads worship at church.


For such a serious lyrical work, this is really a pretty track. It’s the sort of complicated song that showcases what a fine singer and songwriter Powell is. He may well be someone truly special, so don’t forget his name.


Artist: Elliott Powell

Single: Thorn and Thicket

Review By: Dan MacIntosh

Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5)



Dan MacIntosh has been a professional music journalist for 30 years and his work has regularly appeared in many local and national publications, including CCM, CMJ, Paste, Mean Street, Chord, HM, Christian Retailing, Amplifier, Inspirational Giftware, Stereo Subversion, Indie-Music, Soul–Audio, Country Standard Time and Spin.com.

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