Release Date: April 14th 2017
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- I Am Loved
Natasha Owens. Not necessarily a household name, not years ago when her debut album I Made It Through released on iTunes, and maybe not even now with the release of her new EP No One But You a year or so ago. Yet you don’t have to be a household name for your music to be poignant, enjoyable, heartfelt and impacting, which is exactly what Natasha’s music is. From accepting a music ministry position at her local church and the tragedy of her father’s untimely and unfortunate accidental death, to releasing one album and one EP, each to critical acclaim, Natasha’s earnest and honest lyrical and musical layering of her new song “I Am Loved” (that released April 14th) makes her soar into one of my favourite independent artists of late, and an artist I reckon ought to be at least considered for a major label signing in the upcoming months ahead. Maybe Integrity Music or Capitol CMG? “I Am Loved” is a song where worship is at the forefront, and has an overall theme of being loved beyond measure and understanding, as Natasha reminds me vocally of Laura Story and Janna Long of Avalon. Natasha’s music, especially her new song “I Am Loved”, is certain to be enjoyed by anyone who loves artists like Natalie Grant, Avalon, Laura Story, Amy Grant or Mandisa.
“I Am Loved”, while generic in song title, is far from it, as we hear declarations spoken over ourselves as if this is what God believes us to claim for ourselves even if we may not necessarily believe it ourselves at that certain moment. Vocally reminding me a lot like Laura Story, especially in this song; Natasha passionately evokes a moment of comfort as we are fully aware that we are unconditionally loved, the way that it should be. That what we do or don’t do is not our identity, but rather, that we are loved and treasured by the Holy and Triune King. At times lyrically cliché (yet still very much powerful), Natasha’s song, though it has been done to death a million times (see “I Am Loved” by Above the Golden State or “I Am Loved” by Israel and the New Breed), is still very much needed in this society. A song that’ll continue to be on my iTunes playlist in weeks to come, Natasha has herself a winner in this single, and one that’ll be a must-listen if you appreciate and enjoy singer-songwriters like Natalie Grant, Laura Story or Amy Grant!
As we are challenged by “I Am Loved” to not only repeat but believe the words that are sung by Natasha on the song, we are timely reminded that considering God loving us unconditionally, we can hold onto Him during those dark moments, knowing full well He’ll move us on from where we are to somewhere better and unfathomably much more healing and exhilarating than we can dream of. While pursuing music as a career later in life, Natasha’s fervent honesty and hope-filled lyrical moments in this song ought to be enough for anyone who is a fan of pop/CCM artists like Mandisa, Laura Story, Amy Grant or Natalie Grant, to check out Natasha and her music. “I Am Loved” is a song certain to be a vessel of encouragement to many, and one that’ll assert Natasha as one of my favourite indie artists of late, alongside others like Erik Nieder, Joy Lippard, JJ Heller and Jake & Laura. Well done Natasha for such a compelling and heartfelt song. Here’s to the next album whenever it releases!
3 songs to listen to: This is not an EP, but you can listen to the song as many times as you want
RIYL: Philippa Hanna, Natalie Grant, Laura Story, Mandisa, Amy Grant