Tori Kelly - Hiding Place Album Review

Story posted September 21, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment by Jibril Washington.

Tori Kelly, a Grammy-nominated pop artist, dropped her highly anticipated album Hiding Place. On her second studio recorded album, many have been wondering what she’s been up to as the pop star has switched gears somewhat. This album is different in regards to her first album and other music, as it is solely gospel music. Being exposed to a lot of different kinds of music growing up and being in a Christian home, Tori Kelly was able to flow through pop music to gospel with grace and soul.

In a recent interview with Get Up! Mornings with Erica Campbell, Tori Kelly revealed her intentions on naming the album hiding place saying, “There’s a verse that I’ve just always loved, and I’ve always been drawn to, it’s Psalms 33:7 and it says, ‘You are a hiding place for me, you surround me with Psalms of deliverance.’” Just as she does, she wants everyone listening to be able to feel the passion and refuge in her songs for God. She mixes her pop style with very soulful beats, old hymns, and singing ability. She has shown her ability to sing pop music to country gracefully and she does it again here going to Gospel.

Every song on the eight-track album resonates differently as far as tone. Some songs are more up-tempo and have more of a popish feel to them and some are more traditional with hints of pop vibes from the beats or her voice. The album starts on a high powered, cheerful beginning and ends as if we are at church playing worship music. Though it is a short album, you feel as if you’ve sat through one of the most entertaining sermons of your life.

She doesn’t do anything spectacular with the melodies, but it was everything needed to fulfill this album. She takes you through deep-rooted emotions on songs like “Questions” where she uses a basic piano and violin beat. She brings the emotion through how she sings the song. In a sense, it is a very relatable album that many people will be able to feel and identify with. She does the genre of Gospel music justice.
Hiding Place included a few gospels and Christian hip hop favorites. Headlining the features were Kirk Franklin, Lecare, The HamilTones, and Jonathan McReynolds, who all complimented the album in an elegant way. She also included a choir in multiple songs which really brought out the Gospel feel of the album. Tori Kelly does not by any means shy away from letting people know what this album is all about. It is true to its genre. The hymns and all.

The most surprising thing about this album that really makes it stand out is that she didn’t plan on making it in the first place. She just happened to start writing one Gospel song and linked with Kirk Franklin and from there Hiding Place was born. It is a project that she is was very excited to release. This is the album that you ride to church to on Sunday morning’s or get ready to on a great sunny day. The smooth acoustics and the production behind the project were masterful. The only thing holding this album back is how short it is, which isn’t really much of an issue considering the content.

In all, there’s not much anyone can take away from Tori Kelly in this album, as she has once again shown that she has no box when it comes to music. Compared to her last albums and EP’s, this is her best work yet. With this being only her second album, she looks as if she has a high ceiling and is here to stay. She may be one of those singers we talk about for years to come. Although we do not know what she’ll do next, everyone will be waiting to see what genre she may dip into next. Fans hope that she will continue to think outside of the box on future projects.

Rating 7/10


Jibril Washington is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in theatre arts. To contact him, email at