Beckah Shae – Champion

Champion

Shae Shoc Records

Release Date: May 6th 2014

Reviewed by Micah Garnett

Beckah ShaeChampion (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Champion
  2. Incorruptible
  3. Turbo Style
  4. My All (feat. T-Bone)
  5. Promise
  6. Jericho (feat. Israel Houghton)
  7. Heartbeat
  8. Me and My God (feat. Eric Dawkins)
  9. Pioneer
  10. Legacy (feat. Crystal Lewis)
  11. Your Kingdom Come (feat. Joy and Grace)
  12. Vision
  13. Me First
  14. Turbo Style (Jack Shocklee Remix)
  15. Incorruptible (David Thulin Remix)

Beckah Shae is one of the most talented ladies in music, but you may never have heard of her.    Fueled by a successful Kickstarter campaign, and teaming up with husband and producer Jack “Shoc” Shocklee, Beckah returns this week with her seventh studio album, Champion, and boy, it’s a doozy.

There really is nothing in Christian music right now quite like Beckah Shae.  If you’re not familiar with her work, Beckah infuses a mixture of styles ranging from pop to hip-hop to R&B (and even a little bit of dubstep), to create a signature sound, and the result is nothing short of excellence.  On Champion Beckah’s silky smooth and dynamic voice melds perfectly over Jack Shocklee’s driving beats.  While not as immediately accessible as 2011’s Destiny, the album is an overall stronger effort.   Starting with the title track, you will find plenty to dance to.  The lyrics are good clean fun, and that’s something music needs more of.  Beckah proclaims, ‘Even when I want to quit I just keep pushing it. Determined to make a hit, I just keep on aiming to win like a champion. It’s in my blood.’

“Incorruptible” showcases Beckah’s range as she transitions seamlessly between low notes to falsetto at the drop of a hat.  “Turbo Style”, the album’s lead single, is a chaotic 80’s throwback song that perhaps tries to do too much.  The result is a mixed bag, and an odd choice for a single when there are much stronger songs on the album.  The remix at the end of the album, which features a killer verse from Christian rapper Canon, remedies this problem and hits a much stronger note.

The best song on the album is “My All”, featuring Mr. Boney Soprano himself, T-Bone.  T-Bone does his best Pitbull impression, nailing his verse and adding to an already great song.  It’s a song that I could easily hear dominating dance floors across the country.  “Promise” delivers the catchiest hook on the album, while “Jericho”, featuring Israel Houghton, is another solid dance track.  “Heartbeat” is a fun, unique song with a lot of Biblical depth. “I feel your heartbeat. We cry Yeshua, bring us together.  Give us your heartbeat.”  Musically, it feels out of place from the rest of the album, but it’s such a great song, that I found myself coming back to it over and over.  The rest of the album continues the trend of solid songs, with “Me and My God” being a particular highlight.

All in all, Beckah Shae really outdid herself with this one.  Champion is full of tremendous dance tracks with uplifting and relevant lyrics.  Beckah is clearly unashamed of what she believes in.  The production on this album is top-notch, so if you’re looking for an alternative to Top 40 music with clean lyrics and a deep message, look no further.  Champion is one of the best pop albums of the year.

3 songs to listen to: My All, Heartbeat, Me & My God

Score: 4.5/5

RIYL: Mandisa, Britt Nicole, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna,

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