Atlantic Records / Hear it Loud / Fair Trade Services
Release Date: February 15th 2019
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
Jen Ledger, drummer for Skillet for the last 10 years or so, decided to branch out in April 2018, releasing an EP simply titled LEDGER. And while it can be a worrying sign, in that many people who often release solo albums as side projects (when they are still in the band) can in fact and often do split from said band and go out on their own to varying degrees of success; what Jen has stated from the beginning is of her non-intention of leaving Skillet. So…we can know and rest assured that this LEDGER career is a side thing, and who knows, someone can have 2 budding careers going at once, right? What has resulted from LEDGER, are songs full of heart and hope, rock anthems that remind me a little of artists like Skillet and Paramore, with Jen’s vocals being as powerful as artists like Avril Lavigne or even Hayley Williams from the rock band Paramore. What has transpired since the unveiling of this side project are a few things- standout songs like ‘Not Dead Yet’, and a duet with John Cooper called ‘Warrior’, are some of the highlights of an EP that was a little too short, and one that really reminded us of the talents of Jen, talents that were a little under-utilised when she is drumming for Skillet. Nevertheless, we are here in 2019, and LEDGER has unveiled another song, this time a big departure from the rock foundation of LEDGER EP– a CCM radio friendly track ‘Completely’ unveiled to iTunes last week, and if all things are equal, is a direct and definite shoe-in on WOW Hits 2020 when it releases later on during the year.
‘…‘Completely’ is a very simple celebration of the most awesome thing in the entire world: the love of our God! I find it so mind-blowing that before the creation of the world He not only knew my name, but He chose me and He Loved me. He knew the mistakes I was going to make; He knew the ways that I was going to let people down, or even let myself down, and none of it shocks Him. None of it makes Him turn away and His love stays strong just the same. There is nothing better and greater and sweeter than the love of our God and the fact that I can rest in that for the rest of my life! It is simple but it is profound and I think it is absolutely worth celebrating!…’ Taken from a press release not too long ago, we see Jen’s thoughts on ‘Completely’ and what it means to her. Stylistically and sonically, this song is vastly different compared to what we’ve heard from Jen last year…and maybe that’s ok. To see her branch out into CCM is different; and works in this song. With strong drum and percussion beats, and her trademark voice, Jen offers up solace and comfort in the words that ‘…You have called new life up from the dust, faithful even though I give enough, You take the chaos that’s in me an’ You create a symphony from who I was, who I am, and who I’ll be, I am changed, I am Yours eternally…’ And as said by Jen herself in a behind the story video for the song on youtube, God is everything that we need, and that whatever we undertake to potentially make Him turn His back on us, He doesn’t. He still loves us unconditionally, when the world presents a love that is otherwise. A song that’s certain to be on my iTunes playlists both now and to come, Jen has delivered a standout song of 2019, and one that I reckon will impact many listeners as the weeks and months progress!
And so, in a nutshell, we are given ‘Completely’, by LEDGER. Jen Ledger, drummer of Skillet, who’s not leaving the band but is still undertaking a solo career in the meantime, resulting in the six songs from last year’s EP, and this new song, destined to be spinning on K-Love in the near future! One of the standout songs there has been in the last month or so, ‘Completely’ is a identity song if ever there was one. It is a song about complete surrender, of needing the Lord in our lives so much that we are not ashamed to acknowledge that, and understand that are a called to live a rich and full life, complete with our Father by our side. Fans of Skillet, Fireflight and Flyleaf (especially the Lacey Sturm era) will love Jen’s solo material (of last year), and fans of the newer Avril Lavigne more reflective music, will love this new song of Jen’s ‘Completely’. Well done Jen for such a bold song, can’t wait for more solo material in the future months and years ahead!
RIYL: Skillet, FF5, Building 429, Plumb