Fair Trade Services
Release Date: June 15th 2018
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- No Other Love
- Into Words
- You Belong
- Every Step
- Who You Love
- Rest of My Life
Signed to Fair Trade Services in 2017, Jasmine Murray, with similar sounding vocals to Mary Mary, Mandisa and Nicole C. Mullen, is one of today’s shining stars, and in my opinion easily one of the biggest vocalists in the coming years in the Christian music industry (alongside Riley Clemmons, Austin French, Aaron Cole and The Young Escape!). After being a finalist on American Idol in Season 8, Jasmine has seen doors open in the coming years that God has orchestrated beyond her wildest dreams, from singing live on various talk shows to singing Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast one year. Last year, Jasmine has unveiled her debut single “Fearless” (resulting in 3 minutes of pop goodness that speaks about a topic that we all can relate to- fear), and just this past week, Jasmine has taken the next step in showing the world her prowess as a singer, with the release of her debut album Fearless. Featuring “Fearless”, her latest single “Control”, the smash hit “No Other Love” plus a few recognisable melodies from her self-titled EP from 2017, let’s dive in and dwell upon the greatness encompassed in these heartfelt, engaging, inspiring and honest ten melodies of worship to our Lord and Saviour.
Released in February of last year, “Fearless” packs a great big punch lyrically, and is a 3 minute CCM guitar led melody, diving deep into our darkest fears that keep us up and night. Fear is something that chains us down and stops us from living life, yet thankfully, Jasmine relays to us in her commanding yet soothing voice that ‘…I wanna be fearless, no holding back, no backing down, fearless, because I believe You’re with me now, bring on the unknown, lead me and I’ll go, come set me free, God, I want to be fearless…’. We can be fearless despite our circumstances, because of who is in our corner, and that is Jesus Christ- the Lord of Heaven and of Earth! A powerhouse inspirational ballad similar in atmosphere to “Overcomer” from Mandisa, Jasmine’s debut single was very popular on radio, and thus far has reached millions of listeners all over the world, and definitely impacting even more lives.
With the first single peaking about fear, the second single “You Belong” is also present; and with this familiarity, Jasmine delves into the concept of belonging, and the notion that we as humans worry that we aren’t good enough for God, when in fact we belong to Him as sons and daughters. Crying out that ‘…you don’t have to be afraid, hope is your everything…love has carried you this far, safe in your father’s arms…’. Jasmine relays to us that we are accepted into the body of Christ already, so we don’t have to be afraid or feel unloved. CCM in nature, and driven by strong synth, stirring guitars and explosive vocals; this track is slightly more subdued and reflective than “Fearless”, sure to impact many- maybe one of the year’s most played songs, more so than “Fearless”.
On Fearless, aside from the title track and “You Belong”, Jasmine has included four more tracks that we’ve already heard- four from the EP from last year. Though you may be scratching your head wondering why these are event present (or maybe there should have been an extra few more songs on here, ensuring that the ratio to old songs to new songs are lower than what maybe is the norm!), Jasmine nonetheless sings her heart out here, and delivers melodies with great professionalism and aplomb. further reiterating how brilliant she is at capturing the audience’s attention, and creating a God moment amongst the simplest of song arrangements and recordings. “No Other Love” musically has like a remix/electronic/dance club atmosphere, and lyrically speaks about Jesus’ love, that no other love can compare to the vastness and eternity that the love of Jesus possesses. With Jasmine creating a stellar lyric/music video for the smash hit, this explosive pop melody has me tapping my toes, eagerly and passionately singing along to the ever-true lyrics!
Inspirational piano led ballad “Into Words” features Jasmine at her most honest and vulnerable, fervently crying out that ‘…I can’t put You into words, cause I know it’s not enough, it will never be enough, Your grace and mercy are so much more, more that I deserve, forever I will serve You…’, as we as Christians are convicted to pray this prayer along with Jasmine, admitting that we are weak without our Lord and Saviour, but with Him we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. “Who You Love” is probably the most CCM of the album, as Jasmine powerfully belts out a Mandisa-esque melody vocally, as we remember that we are who Jesus loves, therefore we can come just as we are to Him, because of everything He’s done for us; while the final song we’ve heard before, is 3 minute pop tune “Closer”. With Jasmine ardently crying out, asking God to pull us closer than ever, and draw us into His love; we are glimpsed into an inspiring prayer, where what we long to do is be in communion with the One who loves us like we could never imagine.
Now…it’s time for the totally brand-new tracks, and boy, are they well worth the wait. “The Rest Of My Life”, driven by stirring guitars and big booming electronics, is an in-your-face hard hitting declaration, that we are saying goodbye to our old life, and saying hello to Jesus, who will be in control of the rest of our lives, both now and forever into the future; while the short but engaging and lyrically confronting electronic led remix-like melody “Vapor” encourages us to live more actively for Jesus, to ‘…give my all until there’s nothing left, I wanna run and love like there’s no tomorrow, and finally live for something greater…’.
CCM-like piano ballad “Every Step” could possible be a single in the near future, with the personal, honest and emotional 4-minute tear-jerker relaying to us that Jesus is with us every step of our journey with him, no matter if we think he’s far from us. All we need to do is lean onto the promises He’s spoken over us in the Bible, and as Jasmine emphatically reminds us that we need to remember that ‘…every fear I face, every tear I’ve cried, every dark night, You’ve been there by my side, every step, every step, every step of the way…’, we are presented with possibly one of the most inspiring and vulnerable songs of 2018. The last ‘new’ melody is the most recent radio single “Control”, a groovy, jazz/soul/funk type melody that highlights that we all need to give Jesus control in order for us to live a full and satisfying life- a concept similar to Tenth Avenue North’s latest single of the same name- and a song that is so left-field musically and out of the box, that it’s hard not to be impacted by such a fun track. Well done Jasmine for inspiring us and creating enjoyable melodies that are sure to impact listeners in the coming months and years!
So…I’ve got a bit of a nit-pick about this album. It’s not even a nit-pick though. It’s that the album is too short; and contains just under half of recognisable songs. Though this is just me griping, and in the end isn’t really an issue. Maybe these already-heard six songs from Jasmine Murray, plus 4 new songs, all jumbled up in a different order, is what we and the public want to hear. If it is, then I reckon Jasmine has done her job very well. There’s nothing much more that I can say about Jasmine Murray’s new album that I haven’t already. Resonating with fans even right now, this is sure to be a breakout year for Jasmine. After hearing Jasmine’s thoroughly enjoyable and celebratory debut full length album, in my opinion “Fearless”, “You Belong” and the rest of the album should be on everyone’s iTunes rotation or on any other media device; the subject matter of God making us fearless and us overcoming adversity is a bonus! Now, time to dwell upon how Jasmine’s sophomore album (maybe releasing late next year or in 2020?) would sound like! Keep up the amazing work Jasmine!
3 songs to listen to: No Other Love, Into Words, Every Step
RIYL: Mandisa, Mary Mary, Jordin Sparks, Nicole C. Mullen, Avalon, FFH, Francesca Battistelli