Provident Label Group
Release Date: September 24th 2021
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Great You Are
- Be Still & Know
- So Many Reasons
- Love Lives On
- Don’t Quit
- One Kiss From Heaven
Revealing to the world just how popular his music really is, where he became the best-selling artist in the history of The Voice, and also the season 9 winner of The Voice in 2015; 27-year-old singer/songwriter Jordan Smith unveiled his debut album Something Beautiful in 2016, full of covers and a few original songs thrown in as well. You can read our review of the album here (as well as our review of his sophomore album Only Love), yet the time has come now for us to sink our teeth (more like our ears) into Jordan’s latest release. His brand new EP Be Still And Know dropped this past week, via Provident Label Group. As Jordan showcases his strong faith and delivers a collection of worship songs to Jesus, we are met with a passionate, earnest and optimistic man of God, singing God’s praise and goodness, and boy don’t we need encouragement in this world today! With Jordan relaying to us that now he’d much rather be singing about and to God, and to draw people into His presence; does this make this new project much more resonating and dynamic, and not to mention much more rounded than anything Jordan has done in the past? Or is his much now more inferior? Well, let me just say this- even if you’re not a fan of The Voice, can I just try to convince you to take a quick sneak peek of what Jordan has to offer, especially here? Because vocally, he’s at the top of his game right now, and probably right now only third to both Bart Millard of MercyMe and Mark Hall of Casting Crowns in terms of vocal ability (in my opinion!)… anyway, just take a listen to this EP and see what you reckon. I know you definitely won’t be disappointed.
I was just so moved by the idea that if I’m silent, the Lord will still find a way to be worshipped. He won’t miss out on anything because we don’t give Him the glory or the recognition or the worship He deserves. But I want so badly to be a part of that.
Connecting people to God just feels natural, and it feels free, and it feels easy. I want people to experience the Holy Spirit. I want them to be uplifted, and I want them to feel God’s love and His acceptance through my music, even if they don’t know what that is, even if they don’t understand that’s what they’re experiencing. My lifelong dream is to be able to make music for the church and to just experience heaven with people.
A quick listen to Be Still And Know, and I’m immediately transported to the lead single “Great You Are”. A vertical worship song at its core- this is a far cry to the mainstream material Jordan was releasing with Only Love. Yet fans of Jordan’s previous work will still find themselves captivated and enthralled in my opinion. Jordan’s passion for Jesus and to see His name being lifted high is almost second to none- and with this new direction and a new label… anything is possible for the young man of God. As Jordan conveys to us that the very purpose that we all have is to simply worship God and to make His name famous above all other names; we are ultimately blessed to hear a song like no other, and a release that is sure to be on our playlists on Spotify or on iTunes or wherever else, for days, months, years to come. Therefore, what I can say about the song in one sentence to sum up, is that Jordan Smith has delivered a true masterpiece that deserves to be listened to again and again. And also, I reckon one thing is certain once again- like in his previous albums. And it is this: that in whatever sphere of influence Jordan is placed in, God will ensure that he succeeds.
The rest of the EP reveals Jordan’s deep faith for Jesus and his desperate longing to share the gospel to whoever he meets along this road called life. EP opener “Battles” is a majestic, vocally impressive melody that just keeps on delivering eternal truth after eternal truth, and eloquently reminds us that whatever comes our way, we can and will be able to face our adversities with God on our side. As Jordan confidently relays to us that ‘…Your love is my armor, I fear nothing at all, Your heart is my fortress from any arrow of this world, whatever may come against me, it won’t even leave a mark ‘cause you are my shield from the bullets in the dark…’, we are reminded of God’s promises and His faithfulness, that He will be with us and He will never leave us. It’s a promise that brings us comfort and peace- and no doubt this song inspires us to trust our faith wholly in Jesus and the God who has saved us. The title track, another EP standout (actually, they’re all EP standouts!), is a beautifully sung, thoroughly moving and inspiring melody that encourages us to once again trust in God and know that He is with us, as Jordan ardently relays to us to ‘…lift up your eyes, lift up your head, the story isn’t over yet, just hold on and be still and know that He is God, open the door, let in the light, you don’t have to fight this fight, just hold on and be still and know that He is God…’; while the happy-go-lucky pop tune “So Many Reasons” celebrates creation, and reiterates that there are in fact so many reasons to praise God, and so many reasons to be thankful and grateful for everything He’s done for us.
“Love Lives On”, a moving piano ballad, eloquently and vividly depicts Jordan’s intense and unending love for Jesus, relaying that ‘…still, You’re in every breath I’m breathing, still, You’re every heartbeat and, on and on and on, our love lives on, still, I can feel You on my skin, still, I can hear Your voice within, on and on and on, our love lives on…’, and is a timely reminder that even in the midst of trials and tribulations, our love for Jesus shouldn’t be dependent on how we feel from day to day, but on rather what is true; while the penultimate track of the EP is “Don’t Quit”. A piano led melody that once again showcases Jordan’s insanely crazily awesome vocals, Jordan earnestly dives deep into the messy topic of mental health and suicide. With the song I feel being a natural companion to any song from Dear Evan Hansen, “Don’t Quit” also provides us hope, while letting us know that we shouldn’t quit, because Jesus is here and He is holding us and guiding us in this life. Be Still And Know then ends with the heartwarming and emotional “One Kiss From Heaven”. A piano ballad that admits that Jordan can’t see, touch or feel Jesus, the song is quite possibly sung from the perspective of doubting Thomas; as we are met with a moment of realisation, of desperation and of raw emotion, as Jordan declares that he needs ‘one kiss from heaven’ in order to fully know that God is real and He is for him.
This project represents so much of who I am as an artist and a believer. Each song is like a page taken out of my journal, and I’m excited for the world to have them and experience them in the same personal, beautiful way I did. Music is meant to connect us to each other and to heaven, and I hope this project will be a bridge for anyone feeling separated or alone.
Usually soon after an artist wins a certain singing competition, like American or Australian Idol, or Australia, America or Britain’s Got Talent, or the X Factor; the winner’s debut album releases shortly afterwards, most of the time comprised of only one or two originals and the rest of the album are renditions of other artists’ songs. This is more or less the case with Jordan Smith’s debut album, with only 4 out of the 12 songs originally recorded by him. Only Love from 2018, was different in that it’s almost all originals, and as Jordan conveys amongst quite a few topics that there are things in this world to look forward to, to hope towards; and we are ultimately blessed to hear an album like no other, and a release that is sure to be on our playlists on Spotify or on iTunes or wherever else, for days, months, years to come. For this latest project Be Still And Know, there’s something more vulnerable, emotional and personal here, as we’re delving into Jordan’s strong faith for Jesus. Therefore, what I can say about the EP in one sentence to sum up, is that Jordan has delivered a true masterpiece that deserves to be listened to again and again. From inspiring melodies like “Don’t Quit”, “Battles” and “Be Still And Know” to worship songs like “Great You Are” and “So Many Reasons”; Jordan needs to be congratulated for stepping out in faith and singing about his love for Jesus- even if some of his fans may not be receptive to songs about Jesus. Well done Jordan for a compelling and motivational follow-up to Only Love. For those who have not heard this worshipful and inspiring EP- that needs to change now! No more needs to be said!
3 songs to listen to: Great You Are, Be Still And Know, Don’t Quit
RIYL: Michael W. Smith, Matthew West, Steven Curtis Chapman, Avalon, Josh Groban