Release Date: August 16th 2019
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Perfectly Loved
Gotee Records was a powerforce of a label, back in the day. With artists like Abandon Kansas, Aiyesha Woods, Capital Kings, B. Reith, FF5, GRITS, House of Heroes, John Reuben, The Katinas, Out of Eden, Relient K, Sarah Kelly, Sonicflood, Jamie Grace and Morgan Harper Nichols all being associated and affiliated with the label in any way, in years gone past, we see this label (owned by popular and influential singer-songwriter and ex-DC Talk member TobyMac) still thriving today. Though not as powerhouse as it once was, Gotee Records still is home to a fair amount of established artists, like Finding Favour, Hollyn and Ryan Stevenson, alongside newer artists like Aaron Cole, Cochren and Co. and Jon Reddick. Now we see yet another young and ‘up-and-coming’ artist also sign to Gotee- this time young female vocalist and The Voice finalist, Courtnie Ramirez.
With one listen to Courtnie’s vocals, you can’t help but think that you are hearing Riley Clemmons. Pure and simple. Maybe I’m reading too much into the voice similarity, but nevertheless, the comparison is there- I don’t know if that will help or hinder Courtnie moving forward, but nevertheless, at this moment, the similarity to arguably one of CCM’s most aspiring new artists over the last year or so; is a good, good thing. With Courtnie releasing covers of songs like ‘Not Today’ (UNITED), ‘I Can Only Imagine’ (MercyMe) and ‘What a Beautiful Name’ (Hillsong Worship) after her stint on The Voice U.S. and before her signing to the ‘once prominent but still formidable’ label, I’ve been impressed with what I have heard thus far, and her new song ‘Perfectly Loved’ is no different.
Standing at a little over three minutes, Courtnie has given to us 180+ seconds worth of why she is indeed one of 2019’s most surprising new artists to rear their heads in CCM thus far, and why together with new artists Cochren & Co., Jon Reddick and Terrain, is making Gotee what it once was before. Toby’s involvement in finding these artists and nurturing them (considering that he is indeed the CEO of Gotee, even though he himself is signed to ForeFront Records (a subsidiary of Capitol CMG), is nothing short of remarkable and impressive. Courtnie’s passion and heart for music and the effect music has on people is showcased very well through the songs she has delivered to us thus far- and with the message of her new song being something so simple, but still very much needed, that we are truly unconditionally loved despite what people say; we can’t help but champion her music in the upcoming months ahead- and yes, I’ve still likened her to Riley Clemmons, even after a few listens…and that isn’t going to change anytime soon.
‘…I love that this is my first song, because this is exactly what I imagined coming out of the gate. How the Lord loves us and how He made us was perfect. Even though sometimes we don’t see that in our eyes, He sees that; and I hope this song will be a prayer for other people. If the Lord wants to use my songs to heal hurts, let His will be done. That is my complete heart for all my music—that I’m writing the words that people can’t say, and I’m giving them an anthem to get through life and to just keep going…’ It is in this quote by Courtnie herself that I am impressed at her articulateness and her sense of purpose and intentionality about the song itself, and how we are reminded through it of the love so perfect that it came down and submitted to death itself on our behalf. Courtnie is indeed a role model for a young generation, and after hearing this song, I’m certain that her presence in an industry very, very, gruelling and cut-throat, that she’s going to keep making waves for years to come. Well done Courtnie for such a powerful song, and one of my favourites of the month so far. Can’t wait for the full-length, whenever that occurs.
RIYL: Riley Clemmons, Jaci Velasquez, Jordin Sparks, Lauren Daigle