Release Date: June 15th 2018
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- Just Give Me Jesus
Unspoken have had quite a journey of late. Signed to Centricity Music, Unspoken have come a long way since their 2012 EP release 6 years ago. Fusing together hip hop, pop, soul, funk, acoustic, praise and CCM, Unspoken may be one of today’s most unique, energetic, interesting and powerful, even underrated bands that have spawned to life over the last few years. Mixing together a little bit of Salvador, Jimmy Needham, Shawn McDonald, Dara MacLean, Chris August and newworldson together to form one of the most engaging and life-filling music I’ve heard in years, this 5-piece band that formed all the way in the Dominic Republic are certain to show us one of this year’s most unique and surprising new songs of 2018 in ‘Just Give Me Jesus’.
Since releasing their 2016 chart-topping successful sophomore Centricity Music album Follow Through (that spawned the radio hits ‘Miracle’, ‘The Cure’ and ‘Higher’, and even delivered a colourful and ingenious music video in ‘Open the Clouds’!), lead singer Chad Mattson and the rest of the band have reminded us that soul-pop has a place in today’s current sonic landscape and the industry of CCM at the moment. For the sound delivered by Unspoken through not only this new song but throughout their whole catalogue, is a fresh and invigorating one, easily enjoyed and needed to be heard- for us to understand and realise that often what can energise and revitalise is something new, which is what Unspoken has been bringing over the last few years with their music!
Amidst the plethora of CCM, Unspoken and their music have attracted myself for all the right reasons. Releasing their debut EP, Get To Me, their follow-up 2013 EP The World is Waking, and Follow Through in 2016, to critical and commercial acclaim; it was their self-titled debut 2014 album that really placed them on the map as a band certain to make waves both now and into the future. Now unveiling ‘Just Give Me Jesus’, Chad and co. have given to us a song that can be pondered and reflected upon as we ask a similar question- when everything is stripped away, can we state the words ‘give me Jesus’, when everything else isn’t as it should be, when we’re in a Job-type situation? Maybe, maybe not. Nevertheless, the gospel choir littered through the track gives more of a sombre and reflective atmosphere as I ponder such profound and poignant lyrics that these men have shown to us. As the song delves deep into the issue of comparison, and how in order for us to declare this song wholeheartedly, we must first need to lay down all of pride and comparison, to say ‘I don’t care if this person has this or that, that as long as I have Christ, I am whole and complete!’ …and often, this can be difficult. To lay down our comparison and pride can be a difficult thing to do, because, we’ve all known that comparison is very much inherent in us- and it is the thief of joy. And so this song can hopefully be a reminder to us that Jesus is all we need, more than work, money, fame, even more than the next guy we’ve been idolising and envying for a while. We run after the heart of Jesus, and everything else will follow. Unspoken have delivered thematically and musically on this track, and if their new album that releases either late this year or early next year is anything like this new song, then we’re in for a treat from this soul-pop outfit, one that I reckon is one of the most underrated since Salvador and newworldson all those years ago!
‘…we live in a messed up world. I came out of the drug culture. From what I can tell it’s even worse now than it was when I was in it. We’re all looking for some kind of answers, some kind of fulfillment. That’s been the state of humanity for thousands of years. But the good news is, there’s something to fill that hunger. There’s something to heal that pain. There is a cure and it’s Jesus…’ This above quote is the inspiration behind ‘The Cure’, one of my favourite Unspoken songs, ever, from Follow Through. ‘Just Give Me Jesus’ quietly is becoming one of my favourites as well, and if I hear the song more times in the future, it could usurp ‘The Cure’ as my favourite song from the band, ever! That’s how powerful and hopeful, encouraging and poignant, the track really is. As Chad and co. give us courage and perseverance to press on and ask the hard questions, to really allow us the space to think if we really can answer such a question honestly (whether we truly will be satisfied with Jesus and nothing else, or not); Unspoken have once again presented a winner. A big, big bolter for WOW Hits 2019? Who knows. Regardless, this soul-pop band have shown us what a follow-up to a sophomore album, should sound like. Upbeat and enjoyable, fast paced, enthusiastic, energetic, lyrically poignant and hard-hitting, ‘Just Give Me Jesus’ is indeed not a rework of a hymn but rather, a song that is very much needed now in a culture of comparison than it ever was before! Well done guys for such an inspirational and uplifting song, can’t wait for the next collection of songs to debut later on during the year (or early next year!)!
RIYL: Salvador, Jimmy Needham, Shawn McDonald, Dara MacLean, Chris August, newworldson