All Things For My Good
Release Date: October 2nd 2020
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Beautiful Story
- You are Able
- The Great Unknown
- Sing Hallelujah
- All Things For Good
- In the Waiting
- Just The Way You Are (feat. Danny Gokey)
- There Is No Other Name
- Acoustic Worship Medley
- Acoustic Hymn Medley
Jaime Jamgochian was a worship leader/singer-songwriter signed to Centricity Music back in the day. During the mid-late 2000s, her music was charting radio, and songs like ‘Hear My Worship’, ‘Giving it All’, ‘Jesus, Light of the World’, ‘Everything You Are’, ‘For Your Glory’, ‘I Stand in Awe’ and ‘The Stand’ (Hillsong UNITED cover), were all over the airwaves during the past. And yet this new album from Jaime that released in October 2020, is her first full-length album in about a decade, and while it may not have been her intention to be away from music for that long, the reality is, because of her Lyme Disease diagnosis, music wasn’t necessarily at the forefront for her, for a number of years. it’s only in 2020 where her health is starting to get back to what it once was, and while her absence from the music ‘game’ for so long, has meant that her as an artist, would probably need to start over and rebrand again; this new album of 8 songs (essentially 8 new songs in a 10 track album, the last 2 ‘songs’ are medleys of popular worship songs and hymns, respectively) feels like listening to a ‘new’ artist again, in very much a good way. Jaime has poured out her heart into this album, and while she’s not as popular as she once was, her voice is still top notch. With songs like ‘Beautiful Story’ (originally recorded by Newsboys UNITED in their 2019 album UNITED) as well as other standouts like the duet ‘Just the Way You Are’ featuring Danny Gokey; this is a must-have if you’ve enjoyed Jaime’s music of the past, or if you want something new, different and fresh from an artist whose enthusiasm about worship music is certainly evident in their music. While this album may not get as much traction and emphasis as other more popular albums and artists of 2020 (Chris Tomlin & Friends, Matthew West, Echosmith, Matt Maher, Elle Limebear all come to mind); Jaime’s first release in 10 years, is certainly reason enough to at least check out this album once, if only for this intriguing fact.
‘…I had honestly kind of given up on making new music and releasing another album—that’s probably not the answer you were expecting! While walking through a really rough health season struggling with Lyme disease, God put it on my heart to release some songs that had been written over the years and also during that time of suffering. The dream of it came when I could barely function, but I kept sensing the Lord saying, “I will work this for your good,” which is where the song “All Things For My Good” came from. I knew if I got on the other side of this trial, I would release an album again, so I called it ‘All Things’ because I have so seen God work ALL the THINGS for good…the last tracks added are the two acoustic medleys—one features some of my favorite hymns and the other is a medley of my favorite worship songs. If you’ve ever seen me play live, you know I love to lead behind the keys with just an acoustic guitarist and a percussionist. It’s very stripped down and natural. As much as I love fully produced songs, I have always leaned towards the simple and acoustic. So, I thought it would be special to end the album this way. I got my guitar player and percussionist to come in and we captured these free-flowing moments. I hope it brings people peace…’
‘Beautiful Story’ released as a single in September 2020; and was originally a song written by singer-songwriter/worship leader Mia Fieldes and a couple of other songwriters; and was recorded first by Newsboys UNITED for their 2019 album UNITED. I heard the song then with Michael Tait on vocals; and loved it- as I was reminded of the story that God was orchestrating in each of our lives, making tapestry even out of the worst things that have happened in our lives thus far, even if we don’t even know it- and that is the great beauty of how the Lord works. This song gives us comfort that we can rest in the fact our stories are beautiful, that they have meaning and value, and what we may often deem ourselves to be stories that are shameful and unworthy, God can see as being the stories that will reflect Him and His love and glory the most, thereby allowing each and every circumstance to shine through to people and allow people around us to see Christ through both our triumphs and struggles. Jaime’s version here on this album is nothing different- her passion and enthusiasm rivals that of Michael Tait, and maybe…I’ve enjoyed this version better than the one I first heard around a year or so ago? ‘All Things For My Good’, the first official single from the album that premiered in August 2020, is a piano ballad presenting hauntingly emotive and refreshing lyrical content that reminds us all that God is working all things for our good, and His glory, and that whatever we go through, be it trials or triumphs, are all used by the Lord to refine us and shape us to become the people He yearns and longs for us to be. As Jaime herself relays to us all, ‘…we thought it would be special to release this one [All Things For My Good] first—and on my birthday, August 28! The song is inspired by Romans 8:28, which became the verse I clung to during that dark season of overcoming Lyme disease. I have heard from so many who have been in a tough place and have listened to this as a reminder that God is working and will continue to work their situations for good. One story in particular is of a young girl battling chronic illness and pain. I remember all too well what having physical pain was like day in and day out for nine months. She shared how the song helps her get through another day, and that means so much to me. There were days I was not sure I would be able to take it anymore, so to know it is helping someone else on his or her healing journey is beautiful…’
Throughout the rest of the album, we see Jaime continue to impart to us heartfelt songs of worship as we see these new melodies hopefully take root in us and bring to us all, new songs to sing during Sunday morning worship services in the upcoming months ahead. ‘You Are Able’ is a radio-friendly song declaring God’s ability to heal and to bring together situations for His purposes, but the song reminds us still that God chooses to do these things, if at all, in His own timing. For the song is called ‘You are Able’- meaning that yes, God is definitely able, and we declare these things in Jesus’ name, but the Lord ultimately chooses when to fulfill his promises and His ways- it may be now like we want it to, it may be later, or it could even be never, shudder to think. The song provides a transparent look of whether we as people get caught up in the ‘will He come through for me’ and ‘When’, rather than just simply rejoicing that He can and He is able, regardless of whether He’ll come through for us or not. ‘Sing Hallelujah’, a powerful upbeat worship song, reminds me of theme to that of Chris Tomlin’s ‘Not To Us’ back in the day, as this rousing declaratory anthem stands out amongst the rest of the songs in a musical sense- Jaime presents this ‘hallelujah’-type song to remind us all that in any circumstance of our lives, we declare the words ‘hallellujah’, blessing the Lord regardless of what is going on in our lives from a short-term earthly standpoint.
‘In the Waiting’ trades looping percussion with acoustic guitars, as Jaime offers up heartfelt and emotional words of how ‘…if I were truly honest, based on what I see, sometimes I start to question what You’ve said to me, but even through my doubt and fear, I have Your promises, so I will hope in what I don’t see yet…’. To declare these words, means to have tremendous faith, because when we’re in the waiting period, we tend not to do that well when it comes to trusting the Lord and allowing His ways to come into reality when we all have, is our little own assumptions of how this life is going to go. ‘Just the Way You Are’, featuring CCM singer-songwriter Danny Gokey, is just a beautiful piano and strings duet, as both these artists impart this special theme to us all, that God loves us as we are, but is a loving God, in that He doesn’t want to just leave us there- He wants to continue shaping us to become more like Him in every aspect; whilst ‘There is No Other Name’ is presented like a modern hymn. Reminding me vocally and stylistically of indie worship band The Sonflowerz; ‘There is No Other Name’ shows us how urgent this song really is, in reminding us that there is indeed no other name by which we can call upon in life- and this is a great freeing concept in that we don’t have to look to the left or right, but to look to the Cross for our life decisions. Yet one of the most enjoyable songs on this album is ‘The Great Unknown’- a song that challenges us all to trust the Lord and to step into the great unknown- based upon the personal experience of Jaime herself and her bout with Lyme’s disease not that long ago. As she reminds us all herself about the meaning behind the song, we see that ‘…I can still remember writing the song The Great Unknown off the new album All Things. ” Here I go take another breath here I go take another step though I’m not sure where this road goes.” I was in one of the darkest seasons of the soul navigating a yuck health diagnosis and felt awful in every way. I’m thankful everyday for the promises of God to stand on, prayers from so many, medical/holistic intervention and Gods healing that came. I have learned this now on the other side of it all that every page of our lives matters. I thougt it was the ugliest season of my life but now I can see how He makes all things beautiful in His time and that our lives are part of His unfolding story. Keep taking another breath & another step into His glorious plan for your life…’
With the album standing at 10 tracks (2 of them are in fact medleys of acoustic hymns, and acoustic worship songs- all of which are covers and all which flow together very seamlessly), we see Jaime offer up to us a comeback album, and an album that basically introduces Jaime into the industry as a ‘new’ artist- because in fact, that is what Jaime is now. Since there being a 10 year wait between albums, the focus audience has changed. Many may not have heard Jaime or her music, people who love CCM may not also know, either. Nevertheless, this is an album full of joy, emotion, lively atmosphere, and upbeat songs, all wrapped up into this bundle called ‘worship’. And for the most part, it works. While I may have wanted a few more songs rather than just the 10, what we did receive was very well thought-out, and especially with the songs ‘Beautiful Story’, ‘The Great Unknown’ and ‘In the Waiting’ to name a few; All Things is an album to at least consider once, and who knows- if this album is nominated for a WE LOVE CHRISTIAN MUSIC award (promoted by NRT.com), then I guess Jaime has done something right? Whatever the case, we see her album release as one that is certain to bring in more listeners of worship music both now and into the future. Well done Jaime for such a powerful album- here’s hoping this allows Jaime back into the frame as a successful music artist in the upcoming years ahead!
3 songs to listen to: Beautiful Story, The Great Unknown, Just the Way You Are
RIYL: Danny Gokey, Love & The Outcome, Rend Collective, Francesca Battistelli