Surface Pressure

Jessica Darrow - Under Pressure


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Kristin Smith

Album Review

If you’ve had a chance to watch Disney’s latest animated film, Encanto–about a family endowed with magical gifts–then you know this enchanting musical is filled with tunes that can get just about anybody dancing. 

One of those songs charting both on Spotify and YouTube is called “Surface Pressure.” This song features a character named Luisa from the Madrigal family, whose. Her magical gift is superhuman strength, and everyone has come to depend on it. But it just so happens that even those with incredible strength feel the weight of daily pressures and need a break–or else they might just break themselves.


Luisa tells her listening sister, Mirabel, that she’s known as “the strong one” who never asks “how hard the work is” and simply performs with excellence, all the time.Yet the issue with constantly being strong for everyone else is that you forget to take care of yourself. And when you’re not addressing your own needs, you start to “feel berserk as a tightrope walker in a three-ring circus.” 

She tells Mirabel it’s not necessarily the big moments that lead her to feel pressure but the small, everyday expectations (“give her all the heavy things we can’t shoulder”) that add to something nearly unbearable: “Pressure like a drip, drip, drip that’ll never stop/pressure that’ll tip, tip, tip ‘till you just go pop.”




In the movie, Luisa learns the biggest lesson of all:  Your identity and purpose should not be tied to your own strength and performance. She asks “who am I if I can’t carry it all?” And while the song itself doesn’t reach that point of understanding, those who’ve seen the movie will get the message.

That’s profound. And as an oldest child, I’ve often asked myself the very same question. But the good news of the Gospel, which isn’t mentioned in this song, is that we were never meant to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. And by the films end, Luisa learns that very lesson.

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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