Jamie is nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Song for her song "Hold Me." I know nothing about her, so here's a little background for those with me:
She's only 20 years old, and is signed to one of the most well-known CCM labels, Goatee Records. She's billed as a singer, rapper, songwriter, and actress. And she was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at the age of 11.
And she as discovered solely on YouTube. Her page is FILLED with videos, from covers to her own, from live to lyric videos.
And there's the basics, so let's do this, k?
I love the sound we start with, but I'm telling you now, "Ready To Fly (Prelude)" is not a representation of the entire album. It is, however, what I would love to hear more of. She's got a completely unexpected Meg White-like voice here, and the recording is completely raw. It's simple and honest.
"Hold Me" features tobyMac, who is probably one of the most well-known individuals in CCM. I've met him and his gorgeous bright blue eyes before, and seen him live several times, and whew. He puts on a fantastic show and uses so many different techniques to create. Jamie getting to team up with him on this is great. I wouldn't have guessed she was this young based on this song. Definitely in her mid- to late-twenties, but not quite this young. She's got a perspective of a much more mature lady.
The next one is a little obnoxious, though I can't place my finger on it. There's something about "Show Jesus." I think it's just a little too boppy for me. It's borderline reggae and I think pushing it a little farther may have actually served it really well.
I wanted to give y'all a chance to see these lyric videos I mentioned earlier. There's about 10 or so on her YouTube page. Here's the one for the next track, "Come to Me."
"God Girl" is really cute. It's got the sound of early Natasha Bedingfield and Nelly Furtado. A little hip hop beat with a girl checking out where she can go with her range all in one sentence. It's one of the ones all the girls in our youth group would probably have been dancing around while the guys were getting their mid-morning concert naps in.
I love a good CCM song that starts with piano and violin. "Holding On" is exactly what I'm a sucker for in this genre, even though it's a typical sound. This song's another about having strength and having faith in yourself and your abilities to be more than you think you are. It remains fairly simple and relatable musically throughout the song's progression, being a good song at the end of a rough day.
"You Lead" brings us back to that pop side she's got. It's easy to picture this on stage; this makes for a great live number. And arms in the crowd are swaying for the "on and on" part. It's a different take on praise, yet it fits this girl and the industry's take on the genre pretty perfectly.
The title track is next, "One Song At A Time." I love this title, and want to use it, but for something completely different. If the high-register little notes weren't keeping the beat in the background, I think this might actually have a totally different sound and be easier to hear. That piano is a little maddening, lol.
"1945" is probably one of my favorites from the album. It's got the same pop tone to it, but there's a usage of instruments here in ways that you wouldn't totally expect, at least in the verses. The lyrics are really just a reflection on times, just simple thoughts, about being a part of a different time. It's just a cool little number without over-thinking that can come far too often.
We end the album with a sweet ballad in "Not Alone." I think this does a nice job of displaying her voice in a better way than the pop tunes. She's not a powerhouse singer, but she's got feel to her voice that you can't portray all the time in those more upbeat songs. And the song is a great closer as a different feel from the voice we've been partying with for 10 other tracks.
FULL ALBUM SPOTIFY LINK
I've got to hand it to this girl - she has got some chops. She has created a really great sounding pop album, and most songs don't get entirely too preachy on you at all. She's got her faith and sings about it how she wants. It's a fun debut album, and I really, sincerely hope that this girl keeps doing what she clearly loves.