Release Date: April 28th 2015
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Lexi Elisha– Drowning In Love EP (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
One of my favourite female vocalists a couple of years ago was Lexi Elisha, who released her EP I Choose Love in August 2013. To me, each one of the honest and inspiring six melodies on Lexi’s project highlighted that x-factor that I saw and still see in her, setting her apart from female artists like Dara Maclean, Natalie Grant, Francesca Battistelli, Kari Jobe, Mandisa and Kerrie Roberts (even though each female vocalist I have mentioned are still inspiring, encouraging and impacting). The pop genre that was evident on the previous project was an element that I enjoyed, and that EP was probably the most enjoyable pop female vocalist album since Britt Nicole’s Gold. In 2014, Lexi traded in pop sensibilities to a more subdued, acoustic, grass roots and ballad-y sound, with Rope containing a few of her more personal melodies to date.
Now, next week, Lexi is releasing a new EP again! Though it’s a quick turnaround, the songs are but by no means rushed or lesser in quality compared to other releases. In fact, Lexi’s new project Drowning In Love which focuses more predominately on worship, includes some of her most honest and poignant melodies to date! With the divergence and expansion in music genre, some listeners will take a while to appreciate this EP however Drowning In Love delves into many topics, relatable issues, and unending characteristics of God, also having enough content to chew on and ponder for many thorough listens. The depth of Lexi’s lyrics show me that she very genuine, and someone to look out for in the music industry in the coming years. From the dance/pop/EDM debut single “Atmosphere” to the electronic upbeat final track “Wayside”; Lexi’s poignant and refreshing musical and lyrical experience is a must buy (or at least warranting a listen on Spotify)- with her enthusiasm being very infectious, and her love for God as authentic as ever!
Opening with highly infectious guitar hooks and electronic synth and beats, Lexi introduces a dance anthem that praises who God is, and who He promises to be to us. With Lexi passionately declaring that God’s grace is bigger than anything we could ever imagine, and that even the atmosphere moves at the sound of God’s voice, the heart for God is evident in the vibrant chorus where we sing out with Lexi and cry to God ‘…come back, come back, woah, be near o God, I feel Your love in the deepest waters, You’re the pursuer of my heart…’. With a repetitious yet emotional bridge included as well, with Lexi declaring that God’s love fills the atmosphere, the stage is set for an eclectic and musically diverse EP worthy of multiple listens, well done Lexi for this opener that grabs my attention from the very first note!
The pseudo-title track “Drowning”, led by electronic keys, is probably the most CCM song on the project, with Lexi sounding vocally similar to Britt Nicole and 1 Girl Nation especially for this song, depicting how God’s love can change us from the inside out if we allow it, to the extent that we are drowning in His love and be in a deeper relationship with Him. With the verses reminding me of Peter walking on the water feeling afraid that he might sink, the catchy guitar hooks and Lexi’s captivating and powerful voice makes this offering a joy to listen to, despite the simplicity surrounding the theme of the song that we can all surrender to God’s love fully to come alive in His
The more subdued, reflective and introspective ballad “Wait”, led by keys, is thematically similar to Rebecca St. James’ hit single “Wait For Me”, and is where Lexi’s persona in the song asks the future spouse to wait for her and be faithful to their future together even though they may not have met yet; while the electronic pop/dance mid tempo tune “Vanity” inspires us to make an active change in our lives, and think more of others and less of ourselves, as ‘…to never love is vanity…’. And as these two songs, which are polar opposites in terms of subject matter, are next to each other on the track list, it highlights how skilful a songwriter Lexi is, and why I am proud of this latest effort especially.
The final track, a bass guitar driven rock song similar to Superchick or Fireflight musically, is called “Wayside”, and Lexi ardently relays that ‘…Love is calling, as I’m falling by the wayside, by the wayside…’, a reference to God pursuing us when we fall away, and catching us when we fall. As a reference to the parable of the prodigal son, Lexi rounds out this short but punchy and impacting EP with a bang, challenging us to be like the son in the parable, who runs back home to the father after realising his mistakes. Well done Lexi for a compelling and worshipful release having me eagerly anticipating the next album!
With the underlying theme of the album being that God’s love is central to the life of a Christian, and that living the life that Christ wants and desires means surrendering into the love of God to make a way straight for us, this worship EP is one of Lexi’s best, taking her pop roots and using that as a platform to give God the glory! Lexi Elisha has shown us in the past that you don’t need to talk about God to have a great and powerful album, and in this album that singing about God and having the freedom to worship Him sets Christian albums apart from others in the mainstream media. With the topic of searching for love being relevant in today’s society, I believe that this EP is needed for listeners to dwell on now more than ever, in this time of uncertainty around the world. Lexi’s integrity and creativity in this release cannot be denied, and she shines through in these songs. It’s definitely plausible and likely that Lexi will propel into stardom and popularity in the near future, maybe by signing to a record label… so, look out world, Lexi is coming, and hopefully bringing people to Christ in the process!
3 songs to listen to: Atmosphere, Drowning, Vanity
RIYL: Moriah Peters, Marie Miller, Dara Maclean, Jillian Edwards, The Civil Wars