Blessing Offor – Brighter Days / Brighter Days (Live Sessions)

Capitol CMG / Sparrow Records

Release Date: February 25th 2022 / May 20th 2022

Reviewed by: Joshua Andre

Blessing Offor– Brighter Days / Brighter Days (Live Sessions) (Amazon mp3/iTunes) [Brighter Days] / (Amazon mp3/iTunes) [Brighter Days (Live Sessions)]

Track Listing (Brighter Days):

  1. Tin Roof
  2. Little Bird
  3. Brighter Days
  4. Believe
  5. How Much You Mean To Me
  6. Love Something
  7. Brighter Days (Radio Version)

Track Listing (Brighter Days (Live Sessions)):

  1. Brighter Days
  2. Believe
  3. How Much You Mean To Me
  4. Tin Roof
  5. Make You Feel My Love (feat. Bob Lanzetti)

I first heard about Blessing Offor when I reviewed Chris Tomlin’s 2020 country album Chris Tomlin And Friends. Blessing and Chris sung together on a song called “Tin Roof”, and it was one of the most inspiring, moving, powerful and thought-provoking songs on the album. I knew then that Blessing would be a star. I knew nothing of his story about him being blind. But I did know that he had a crazily awesome voice. A really soulful and R&B type voice like Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, and Stevie Wonder. And so, I decided then and there that if ever Blessing would record a new album (he already recorded an album in 2015!); that I would review it and voice my thoughts. Fast forward until now, and here we are, a handful of months out from Blessing’s debut EP on Capitol Christian Music Group. Titled Brighter Days, Blessing also released a live EP this year as well; and together, these two releases remind us all just how much of a future star Blessing is, and just how much of an inspiration he is as well.

Our baseline attitude should be gratitude. Not to be cliché, but we all got to wake up today. That did not have to happen. Life in context should only leave you grateful. I lost a bunch of my vision when I was a kid, right? But I’m here, right? I get to play music for a living. I’m living the dream. That is the same for millions of people right now.

I don’t want anybody else’s life but mine. Because whatever they’re going through, it’s not for you. So, we all find ourselves exactly right where God wants us to be and equipped for the thing, He wants us to be doing. I really think Christianity thrives under pressure. There’s a kind of beauty, there’s an extra kind of humility that you walk around with when you’re in a situation where you are not in power. It reminds you that earthly power isn’t the point. In the New Testament, the Church was never in power, but yet man did that thing grow. If you look at the New Testament, those guys were very, very persecuted. In Nigeria, Christians could tell you what persecution means.

Let’s dive into the studio EP first, shall we? Lead single and opener “Tin Roof” is a stirring piano ballad and is co-written with Natalie Hemby. With the song speaking about Blessing’s hope of what heaven will be like; there is a similar theme to Needtobreathe’s “Streets Of Gold”, and Blessing powerfully sings about how he longs for heaven to be like a ‘tin roof’ that washes away all of our sins and makes us holy and spotless before the Lamb of God. “Little Bird”, a heartfelt and passionate piano led melody, speaks about the dichotomous concept of freedom, and Blessing’s take on it- he believes that true freedom to do whatever you want without limitations, isn’t real and true freedom. There will always be consequences for the actions you undertake that may not be healthy to you, and in that way, you might be still chained because of the consequences. And so, what Blessing is saying in this thought-provoking melody, is that freedom in Jesus Christ should encourage us to live for Him and to live a life that pleases Him. It’s not ‘I’m going to do everything I want; consequences be damned!’. It’s more like ‘I love you Jesus and I’m going to live for You and serve You because I want to, and I want others to know the goodness and the love of Jesus Christ’. This, I believe, is what the song is driving at; and this multi-layered track is definitely an album standout.

“Brighter Days” is such a cliché title, as both Emeli Sande and OneRepublic have released powerful songs of the same name. But Blessing’s original melody (which is the title track), is equally as poignant and compelling. A piano ballad, Blessing has reminded us about the fact that ‘…I know there’s gonna be some brighter days, I swear that love will find you in your pain, I feel it in me like the beating of life in my veins, I know there’s gonna be some brighter days…’; and as Blessing has also released a radio version of this song as well… well, let me just say that I reckon it might be one of the most vulnerable and emotional songs I’ve heard this year. “Believe”, another heartbreaker and emotional track, speaks about whether we want Jesus, or want the things He can do for us- and the melody also asks the question of do we love Jesus or love the things He can do for us. It’s a confronting melody, but one that needs to be heard- as the topic of evil and suffering is alluded to here. There are no direct answers that we might like, but this melody asks the question of whether we really put our trust and faith in Jesus- especially in the hard times. The radio friendly and CCM track “How Much You Mean To Me”, co-written with Chris Tomlin, speaks about Jesus immense and unending love for us, and how we couldn’t ever explain it, or even try to; while Brighter Days ends with “Love Something”. It’s a moving, impacting piano ballad about love and loss (either through a breakup or through the death of a loved one); and while this song doesn’t speak about Jesus, that doesn’t mean this melody isn’t worth listening to. This song is a song about life, and as Blessing has a story to tell about God’s faithfulness; let us hear this song, and let our eyes be opened and out mind expanded into what God is trying to say.

I don’t think I’m the traditional Christian artist. I think of myself as an artist that is a Christian. I grew up with all the music in the world — Motown and jazz — and all of these things. And I have always felt really deeply that Christians go through heartbreak, Christians go through loss, Christians go through the same emotions that everybody goes through. Why does being a Christian mean all of a sudden, we don’t live human lives? So my mindset with making this record was just to be human.

‘Tin Roof,’ ‘Believe,’ these are songs where it’s me wrestling with faith or dealing with faith. ‘Brighter Days’ is a hopeful song. ‘Love something’ is just a song about loss. So, I guess my whole thing is, I wanted to make a record that was full of human emotions, all the different kinds of emotions. Because being a Christian still contains within it being a person. I’m trying to bridge that gap. I can’t make music my dad can’t listen to. I can’t record songs that I couldn’t play in front of my dad because my dad’s just the sweetest, kindest, most God-loving man in the world. But that leaves a lot of freedom.

I think sometimes we get stuck in our own bubble. I wrestled, growing up. I was like, ‘I love Jesus, but I don’t think I’m like a worship leader, per se. And I don’t think I’m a gospel artist because, man, all these Motown songs, these songs are wonderfully worshipful in their own way.’ Back to being honest, I have to just be myself here, so that’s kind of what the EP is- Blessing Offor trying to be honest about Blessing Offor.

Blessing Offor has an incredibly story to tell. His story of being blind and overcoming adversity is extraordinary and extremely encouraging; and his live EP only cements my appreciation and love for his music. Blessing is here to stay, and I can’t champion his songs enough! This EP is a must listen. Simply put, there shouldn’t be any reason why not to listen to this. And so, I will end this ‘review’ by saying well done to Blessing! You are such an inspiration to a lot of us, and you remind us what it mean to get back up after you’ve been knocked down. Well done, I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for you next!

3 songs to listen to: Believe, Brighter Days, Tin Roof

Score: 5/5

RIYL: Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Dante Bowe, TobyMac, Jon Reddick, Katy Nichole

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