Release Date: September 18th 2020
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
Signed to Centricity Music in 2015, Jordan Feliz has had a stratospheric and gigantic rise to fame. Partly due to the smash hit “The River” (and you might have thought that he was a one-hit wonder) however but as the years rolled on, it has been evident to see that his music exudes a sense of honesty, authenticity and vulnerability that we probably haven’t heard and seen from many more artists recently. I guess that’s one of the reasons why Jordan’s sophomore album Future in 2018 was so, so, so well received by critics and listeners alike. With hit songs such as “Changed”, “Faith” and “Witness”; listeners have been responding to and loving this album for a while. Though the very unnecessary release 1 Mic 1 Take released in 2017, fans and listeners were treated to Jordan’s well thought out, highly professional, and greatly inspiring second solo album- and boy are the songs a sight to behold. Future contained 13 tracks of extremely contagious pop music (definitely not in the mould of CCM artists like MercyMe, Big Daddy Weave or Sidewalk Prophets, but rather in the vein of mainstream counterparts Katy Perry, OneRepublic, One Direction, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Sam Smith or Ed Sheeran), and each melody is of very high calibre. Like ‘mainstream artist type of quality’. Though there really shouldn’t be a divide between markets, reality is that there is, and that’s sad. But Jordan has shown us through Future that high calibre songs can be recorded. And when they do, I reckon we should let God just do whatever it is He wants to do with these songs. While this album still is a bit too pop for my liking at the moment, it’s grown on me quite a lot in the past year or so, and perhaps this means that in the future, Jordan’s music may be discovered by listeners of these aforementioned ‘mainstream’ artists, or maybe even by these artists themselves!
Unfortunately Jordan then dropped “Glorify”. I’ve reviewed this track 3 times. Once the song just with Jordan, another the track with TobyMac and Terrian, and the last track with Lecrae and Hulvey. And while I rated each version of this brand new song slightly different, the essence of each review was this. That even though “Glorify” contains slick guitar riffs and objectively beautifully sung vocals neatly packaged in 3 minutes of radio pop… the song unfortunately does nothing for me. We have had tons of songs about glory and lifting Jesus’ name up. “All The Glory” from Building 429, three “Glory” songs by Phil Wickham, Remedy Drive and The City Harmonic, “Lord Let Your Glory Fall” by Matt Redman, “For Your Glory” – 2 songs of the same name but entirely different! – from Matt Maher and Matt Redman, as well as “All Glory” from Tim Hughes, “The Power And The Glory” from Hillsong, “Glory In The Highest” from Chris Tomlin and “Show Me Your Glory” from Third Day. So to add another track that says “Glorify”, even if it is from a reputable and popular CCM artist like Jordan, is overkill to the nth degree. The fact still remains that “Glorify” is infinitely better when we hear the song with TobyMac & Terrian, and with Lecrae & Hulvey… but there’s still no denying that this song has lazy writing. Some would say I’m being too pedantic and this song is awesome or fully sick in a good way. But no amount of positive adjectives and superlatives can shake me from my thought that this is plain unoriginal and lazy, sorry Jordan.
Yet this review isn’t for another version of “Glorify”. It’s just to juxtapose “Glorify” with Jordan’s next single. The poignant, heartfelt, honest and vulnerable piano ballad “Wounds”. Releasing this past week, there’s no denying Jordan’s heart and passion here- and I believe that we have a winner! I mean why wasn’t this track the lead single of the new album instead of “Glorify”? Led by powerful and compelling strings and keys, this soft reflective ballad is my favourite Jordan Feliz song since “The River”, and my favourite Jordan Feliz ballad since “Satisfied”! Yep, I’m that bold! And now, there’s nothing much left to do except to tell you all to listen to this masterpiece and this work of art! As Jordan relays that Jesus’ love heals all wounds, let us all be encouraged by the fact that we can come to Him broken, and that He can and will restore us fully!
This song is, by far, the most vulnerable song I have ever released. Let my life be the proof that when you allow God access into the hurt, into the shame, into the trauma… He comforts, He restores, He heals.
Surprising me very greatly (in the sense that I had lower expectations given “Glorify” and now they exceeded anything I could ever envision from Jordan lately!), Jordan Feliz’s new song “Wounds” is a track that will impact and encourage- no doubt about it! The second single from his upcoming new album slated for released in 2021 (!), this work of art reminds me just how impressive and moving Jordan’s songwriting ability actually is. And yes, despite “Glorify”, I am eagerly anticipating Jordan’s new album- just so that I can say that “Glorify” is one of the weaker tracks from that project and that “Wounds” is one of the strongest. Though even if you don’t connect that much with “Glorify”, there’s no denying the passion of this inspiring young man of God, as evidenced in “Wounds”. So what are you waiting for? Check out “Wounds” and let me know what you think.
RIYL: Britt Nicole, Tauren Wells, Hollyn, Jamie Grace, Lecrae, for KING & COUNTRY, NF