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2013 Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.
Just scrolling through the Wiki page on this girl, and the first thing I notice is that she turned down a scholarship to my beloved Belmont to pursue music. Clearly she wasn't aware of what an amazing music program they had to prepare for her for a professional music life. Her loss, in my opinion.
But, I'm not here to judge. I'm here to listen to music. And actually, without realizing it, I have heard of this girl before! "When She Cries" used to come on my Pandora all the time, and I really loved it. That was from her first album, so I'm a bit excited to see where she's gone from there, 2 albums later.
An interesting note about this one though: there was a "mainstream re-release." I'm not sure why or what prompted that, but this has technically been released twice. Huh. Welp, we're listening to it one way or another, on yet another glorious adventure into the world of CCM!
The title track, "Gold" kicks things off. Now, I have to warn you ahead of time - the version that Spotify has up has the mainstream version's cover up. Annndddd I've totally heard this song. In all honesty though, I couldn't tell you if it was on a Christian station or on a Top 40. Either way, it fits in to both, and actually is a great feel-good track!
Okay, a Trojan commercial just played between. tracks. Cue giggling. Seriously, it's a CCM album, you are not doing this right Spotify. Anywhos, "Look Like Love" continues to take us down the worship track, asking to be transformed and shine with God's light. Have I mentioned I went through a pretty heavy CCM phase a few years back? And in high school? My roommate even prayed over me. The heart needs these things sometimes. Anywhos, I get the phraseology happening here.
"Who You Say You Are" went right past me - ugh, I hate when I get caught up in something else. In this case, it was a job application for a Music Licensing Assistant job in LA for CBS - prayers please! Though Lord knows I've applied for plenty of things like this with no luck. But maybe this feel good, up beat song will help infuse a little hope into my life?
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I really want "Ready or Not" (feat. Lecrae) to be an old song that I knew from Creations long ago. I'm guessing it's a different song though - yup, this chorus is not the same thing. Don't get me wrong, it's got a great beat and keeps going along. It's steady, I suppose you could say, and has very little give to slow down throughout.
In a really nice mid-album move, we get the self-power song "Stand." I mean, it's about God's ability to give strength in the hardest times, but you get what I mean. It's that one that finds you in the crowd with closed eyes, arms out-stretched, and singing it out loud as if you were the superstar on stage shouting up praise. I was always a sucker for these, because they also make grey highway songs when you're coming home from a rough time.
Oh, happy time? "Amazing Life" is super happy to the extreme. Like, in every way possible. She talks about drinking… sunshine. Seriously, whoa super happy times. This could probably be found in a Christian dance club… do those exist? I never did figure that one out.
"Still That Girl" came in so quietly that I thought the album was over for a minute. It revs up though, which was a bit surprising. I don't think we've gotten one straight-forward ballad yet. That's not a bad thing, but it's all a little discombobulating when you're expecting an album to ebb and flow up and down in some sort of logical manner. This one just comes at you full force or sneaks in from the side - neither of which makes sense given whatever the last song was.
This one almost proves me wrong - almost. "Seeing for the First Time" at least builds a little more naturally. Honestly, it's a very beautiful song that takes on a great amount of power throughout. It's actually a shame it ends so early, which is saying a lot for a song that's only about four minutes long. But in that short amount of time together, we really do get a sense of something beautiful there.
"Gold (Jason Nevins Rhythmic Radio) Remix" takes us into the final, I'm guessing 'bonus' tracks of the album - the remixes! This particular one is probably the club version of the track, if it gets played in clubs. It's definitely the party version, that's for sure. There's even beat breakdown sections in it, which I can't say necessarily enhance the song that is otherwise incredibly poppy. But at least her auto-tune seems oddly at home in this version. The beat's infectious to move to, so you have to admit that the track really does do its job. And the chorus is just as ridiculously infectious and cute.
One more remix and we'll be done here. "Gold - Wideboys Remix" takes us to the end of the album. The vocals are just as sped up as the last one, but this time there's lasers! No, seriously, have you heard songs with that sound that seems to be straight out of a laser canon? That's all I keep thinking. This one repeatedly revs up with beats and music and the payoff is just loud and insane. Not that that's a bad thing, of course! Oh shit… there's a rap too. Hot damn. Can I say that in a CCM review? Yeeahhhh, sure, why not?
Added to My Playlist:
- "All This Time"
- "Seeing for the First Time"
Whew, this is a new route for Christian Contemporary Music. I mean, the pop-ness is not necessarily new, but the dance remixes were alway strictly TobyMac's thing, and even then it wasn't something you expected in a club. Britt's definitely treading the line of CCM/Mainstream, which was always really cool for me to see personally. I seriously hope she gets some airplay with some of this music, because she's infectious and a lot of fun.