Release Date: April 1st 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- You Are My King (Amazing Love)
- Here I Am To Worship
- Heart Of Worship
- Revelation Song
It’s been a while since an independent artist has wowed me on voice alone, before the lyrics of a song do, until now. Usually up and coming artists are songwriters that have their powerful and eloquent voice as well as accomplished and honest lyrics that propel them to be signed and hence achieve musical greatness, and usually with most independent artists it is their lyrics which catch my attention first. Yet for pop/urban/r&b/worship vocalist Jeanne Marie, who has released a full length album of original songs back in 2011 (of which I did not think much about even though some tracks resonated with me at the time), it is her brand new 4 song EP of covers, called Praises To The King Of Kings that has captivated me right from the get go. And since the mini-album is full of familiar worship tunes, Jeanne’s exquisite voice has moved me so much for me to conclude that this is one of my favourite EP’s of 2014, despite her not writing any of the songs.
Opening the album with a soft acoustic rendition of Newsboys’ smash hit “You Are My King (Amazing Love)”, driven by keys, hand clicks for percussion, and acoustic guitar strums (with a hint of electronics and programming thrown in for variety), giving us a raw, intimate atmosphere; we are met with a song about the immensity of Jesus’ love. As Jeanne passionately cries out that ‘…Amazing love, I know it’s true, It’s my joy to honour You, in all I do, to honour You…’, I am swept away in emotion and praise to God, as I sing about the reasons why He is amazing. As Jeanne’s vocals shine through and remind me of Mandisa or Nicole C. Mullen, this song is definitely a great way to start the 4 song worship journey.
Jeanne also covers Tim Hughes’ classic worship hit from 2000- “Here I Am To Worship”, Sung at a quickened pace and with added electronics, a computerised drum loop, and remix effects; the mood of the song created is similar to that of a mainstream dance party. With Jeanne’s vocals powerful as ever and inspiring, as well as the lyrics, which state that Jesus is everything, as Jeanne lays everything at Jesus’ feet, crying out ‘…Here I am to worship, here I am to bow down, here I am to say that You’re my God…’; Jeanne covers this song quite well, though I prefer Tim Hughes’ version. As I dwell upon the sacrifice Jesus made for me, I find myself singing the song again and again, great job Jeanne!
The final two tracks are “Heart Of Worship”, originally by Matt Redman, and “Revelation Song”, written by Jennie Lee Riddle and made famous by Kari Jobe. Also sung at a quicker pace, and sung with a chilled out Caribbean reggae/pop/r&b vibe, I find myself loving this version of the iconic classic anthem, that is vulnerable, honest, and has us confessing that ‘…it’s all about You Jesus…’. Kudos to Matt Redman for writing this gem, and for Jeanne for her wonderful voice and translating this song into a brilliant rendition that gets me very excited for her future original songs. The album closer “Revelation Song”, though different to versions such as from Kari Jobe, Newsboys and Phillips Craig & Dean; is wonderfully executed in its own right, as I find myself transfixed by this synth driven take on this modern hymn. Jeanne makes the worship anthem her own, adding strings to make this song more orchestral, and she also sings about God being sovereign and holy; well done Jeanne for creating a musical masterpiece that is every bit as good as the other versions!
Possibly releasing a new original studio album in 2014, 2015 or 2016 (actually I’m not sure when that’s happening!); Jeanne Marie has captivated us with her rich and emotive delivery of popular worship songs, as well as moving us to commune with God and praise Him. Definitely warranting a place in my iTunes playlist for a while, Praises To The King Of Kings is sure to please worship enthusiasts, as well as fans of artists such as Nicole C. Mullen and Jesus Culture. While it would have been great if there was an original song; the purpose of these 4 tracks was not about Jeanne, but about Jesus. For that purpose, these tracks fulfilled their role quite nicely.
3 songs to listen to: Here I Am To Worship, Heart Of Worship, Revelation Song
RIYL: Avalon, Nicole C. Mullen, Jesus Culture, Group 1 Crew