Hootey 2 Music
Release Date: September 9th 2014
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Kerrie Roberts– My Heart’s Lifted (Amazon mp3/iTunes/Website)
- My Heart’s Lifted
- The Broken Ones
- Seek Your Face
- Come Back to Life
- Love Like You
Known in both mainstream and Christian circles for her crossover hit “Rescue Me”, CCM/indie singer/songwriter Kerrie Roberts has been one of my favourite female artists of late. Breaking into the music industry with her powerhouse single “No Matter What” in 2010, Kerrie has unveiled hit after hit, from “Take You Away”, “Saviour To Me” and “Beautiful For Me”, to “What Are You Afraid Of”, “Middle of It All”, “Finally Home” and more recently “Come Back to Life”. Kerrie’s powerful vocals alone is a great reason for anyone to check out her music, and with the release of My Heart’s Lifted on September 9th, Kerrie continues to show us that being an indie artist doesn’t necessarily mean a lacklustre effort, with her new material equally as enjoyable, poignant and heartfelt as her previous songs under Reunion Records. One of the most underrated female CCM artists within the last few years (alongside others like Lindsay McCaul, Laura Story and Moriah Peters); Kerrie’s heart for creating melodies that are both enjoyable, and inspiring with an edifying message, can be shown in her 5 new songs, some of the best that Kerrie has created throughout her career so far!
With these 5 songs portraying a great snapshot of what style Kerrie’s music is likened towards (CCM/pop, similar to artists like Britt Nicole, Rebecca St. James or Mandisa), it is unique to note that all of the 5 tracks range between the lengths of 3:20 and 3:26 (not that I think it was intentional, just interesting to note). “Come Back to Life”, the first radio single from the EP, is a great reminder of how we, no matter how broken, hurt and hopeless we are, can come back to life when we face the cross and allow Christ into the darkest places we may not necessarily visit. One of my favourite songs of the year, Kerrie comforts us with the poignant words of how ‘…you don’t have to stay in the same old place, throwing it all away, don’t hold to the pain, to the hurt, to the shame, it keeps coming back like a boomerang…’
With looping percussion and Kerrie’s enthusiastic vocals, we see the theme of us turning our lives around as we place our trust in Christ being brought to the fore of the melody. With Kerrie confident in her own convictions, this was one of my favourite songs when it released as a single in March 2014, and is still one of my favourites now as well. “Come Back to Life” allows us to be in the most intimate of spaces, to engage with our Father just as we are, with hopefully the song being a moment of change as we understand that God gives us life- and that the life that comes when we are encouraged by our friends, family and God Himself, is something worth coming back to, like the song suggests. Well done Kerrie for one of my favourite songs of 2014, and a song that’ll certainly be a Kerrie Roberts classic (at least for me) in years to come!
Even though the songs have similar lengths, each melody is distinct, and showcases a different side to Kerrie in terms of vocal delivery, musical genre, and general atmosphere whenever someone listens to the tracks. The upbeat “My Heart’s Lifted”, the title track, invites us all into a powerful declaration from Kerrie to God (and hopefully from us to God as well), thanking Him for lifting her heart and how ‘…oh my soul keeps singing all day long, this is my song, my heart’s lifted…’ and is a perfect start to an EP full of enthusiasm and heartfelt moments of reflection (similar to how the equally profound “Time for the Show” set the scene lyrically and thematically in Time for the Show).
“The Broken Ones” brings the piano and hand claps into the fore as Kerrie slows down the tempo and delivers one of the most vulnerable and emotional melodies, not only on the EP but throughout her career so far. A theme of how ‘…God loves the broken ones, with edges rough…He doesn’t see who we were but who we’ll become…’, Kerrie invites us all to love others just as broken, out of the gratefulness of who God is to us. Well done Kerrie for both these tracks, each of them fast becoming some of my favourite CCM/pop melodies from Kerrie “Unstoppable” and “Sing” in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
“Seek Your Face” and “Love Like You”, the remaining tracks, have strikingly similar themes, despite being polar opposites in tempo and style. A song that encourages us all to seek God’s face first, Kerrie brings forth the synth keyboards in “Seek Your Face” and leaps into a confronting lyric in making us think of ‘…how many times have I said, ‘please, please God’, give me what I can’t stop dreaming of…I give you thanks but right in the next breath ask you why I just don’t have it yet…’ Standing at only 3:20, Kerrie uses the space of the song quite well, and while not as flashy, musically layered or even upbeat as the rest of the EP, still packs a punch emotionally that will hopefully encourage us to turn our eyes to Jesus, knowing that once that happens, everything will fall into place.
With the theme being also expounded by “Love Like You” (no, not the Kaleidoscope cover, yet sounding very similar musically), Kerrie declares that as we seek God’s face, we learn to ‘…love like You, I wanna walk in truth, I wanna shine Your light in all that I do…’ With a looping percussion, layered vocals (with this song in particular, you hear both Kerrie’s lead and backing vocals) a whole lot of passion and enthusiasm, that oozes out in the EP ender in particular; Kerrie finishes the EP on a strong note, further asserting herself as one of my favourite pop CCM artists within the last few years in both indie and label CCM.
A quick turnaround between albums/EPs (Kerrie released her second album Time for the Show in April 2013, and her Christmas EP in November of that same year), Kerrie’s first EP release independently with material that isn’t holiday related is quite a feat, and one that continues to showcase her heart for creating music with lifelong value and emotion. While not necessarily as publicised now compared to before when she was on Reunion Records, My Heart’s Lifted continues to show us that you not need a label to be successful. With powerful truths spoken into songs that have a pop/dance edge, this set of 5 songs are sure to bless anyone who loves similar artists like Moriah Peters, Britt Nicole, Natalie Grant or Group 1 Crew. Well done Kerrie for such a splendid effort, and one that’ll certainly make this album a standout in September 2014!
3 songs to listen to: Come Back to Life, The Broken Ones, Love Like You
RIYL: Group 1 Crew, Britt Nicole, Natalie Grant, Moriah Peters