Release Date: August 7th 2015
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Children of God
- People of Light
- Hope is Found
- You See It All
- The Lion’s Eyes
“…I have been eagerly anticipating the release of this new record, and I can’t wait to hear the stories of how God uses it to speak life and hope into hurting hearts. My team and I prayed over every step of this project. Every note sung, every chord played, every decision made in the mixing process – it was all done out of a place of prayer and worship, and I believe that God will honor that by using these songs to advance His Kingdom…” Having already released her debut EP Shaken in April 2014 to critical and commercial acclaim, 24 year old Becca Bradley has now revealed her sophomore EP The Lion’s Eyes, dropping to all stores this coming week. Having shared the stage with many high profile artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Amy Grant, Taylor Swift and Michael W. Smith, as well as touring extensively with Francesca Battistelli in 2014 as a backing vocalist and cellist; Becca’s new offering of six songs are sure to impact, please and warm the heart, as she draws us closer to Jesus and worships him with her honest and emotional voice similar to Kari Jobe and Leigh Nash of Sixpence None The Richer. Unveiling a new album opposite TobyMac’s latest album **THIS IS NOT A TEST** is quite bold, yet there is something about The Lion’s Eyes that makes Becca’s music compelling to hear and to connect and engage with.
Opening up with the folk mid tempo worship melody “Children Of God”, highlighting Becca’s exquisite vocals, we are gently reminded that ‘…we are the children of God, chosen and redeemed, bought by the blood of the risen King, someday he’s coming to carry us home and soon we’ll be dancing at the Father’s throne…’, an eternal truth that we can all long for, as we worship God with the knowledge that He already has won, and in the surety and assuredness that we are saved through everything He’s done. Worshipping Jesus with such freedom is something we should all be able to do as believers, and Becca brings forth this fact quite nicely as the album opener.
“People Of Light” is probably the most emotional and impacting song on the album, as Becca relays a call to action melody, of sharring our faith and our testimony with others who do not yet know Jesus, by reference of the light that is now in our lives that wasn’t there once before. As Becca reminds us that “…I’ve had people come up to me since I’ve know the Lord and say I can see such a light in you, people who don’t even necessarily know scripturally what that means. It’s been cathartic for me to so clearly remember my life before Jesus and write from the perspective of that contrast…”; the piano and guitar led “People Of Light” is meant to be vague and sometimes ambiguous, so as to draw in listeners of all walks of life. As Becca vividly contrasts her life pre-Jesus and post-Jesus, the rest of the songs also inspire and motivate, with God’s unending qualities being the theme interwoven throughout.
Driven by strong piano and vibrant acoustic guitar, “Hope Is Found” outlines how Jesus is the way, truth and light, and that hope is found in Him, and is a soft intimate melody that Becca absolutely nails down vocally; while “Yours” is filled to the brim with cello moments as Becca reminds us of her other musical talent, which is quite brilliantly played. As “Yours” delves the dichotomy that we as Christians are faced with, that God loved us completely, together with our sins, and now we are holy and blameless in His sight; this song is quite something to wrap our minds around, as we contemplate the enormity of us being God’s and God being ours. Standing tall at 6 minutes, the highlight of the EP is a joy to listen to, and is my favourite song of Becca’s entire career thus far.
With the penultimate song on the record, the piano led ballad “You See It All” once again utilising the metaphor and motifs of light and darkness, we are introduced to the notion of God seeing our future, and that nothing that happens in our lives takes God by surprise, that ‘…nothing can stop Your plans from unfolding…’, as He is the one who speaks light into the darkness. Yet it is the title track, the EP ender, which is another personal favourite of mine. Reminding me of Rend Collective musically, the folk hand clapping mid-tempo melody creatively utilises imagery from CS Lewis and the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe series, as we are introduced to the truth that ‘…I feel the rising hope stirring in my soul, I found a love that won’t let go in the Lion’s eyes…’, with God and Jesus being the ‘lion’, a subtle reference to Aslan. With the theme of the song and album, being the security of God and that we can trust Him completely, it’s fitting that the album cover shows us the front of a friendly lion. Well done Becca for offering us six effortless and beautifully written and sung melodies that have me longing for more and more!
Becca Bradley’s second collection of 6 songs is an EP like no other. Though the EP is quite short, the quality of these melodies is just a good as any other signed or unsigned artist releasing their album this year. With Becca having a busy schedule as she forges ahead singing her own music, it’s only a matter of time before Becca is signed by a major record label. A great artist to listen to if you are fan of Francesca, or artists like JJ Heller or Leigh Nash; Becca’s sophomore release is hopefully one of many to come. Well done Becca for such a honest and motivational EP.
3 songs to listen to: Children Of God, Yours, The Lion’s Eyes
RIYL: Leigh Nash, Plumb, Moriah Peters, JJ Heller, Francesca Battsitelli