We’re sorry, your Flash browser plug-in appears to be out-of-date. Please visit http://www.adobe.com for a quick upgrade. Just posting some demo tracks from Jacque DeShetler’s new CD, Signal. Review coming up overnight.
UPDATE: Well, would you believe “Saturday, instead of overnight?” Yeah, got home a little more tired than I thought I was. Blogging takes the hit for that. I’ll try to add another clip of tunage from Jacque’s CD to make up for this egregious error on my part. And if that’s not enough, Jacque’s promising to share a few extra tales from the record herself.
Now THAT’S worth waiting for!
UPDATE 2.0: Finally reviewing …
Jacque DeShetler’s new CD, Signal, is an odd one for me to review. Reason being, I had no idea what to expect. All I had to go by was the recommendation of Michael Hodge that I’d probably like it based on my own appreciation of heavier music. And yet, Jacque’s music isn’t along the lines of any 80s Christian metal bands, but it’s also not your standard praise & worship music, either. The net result is something that’s distinctively her own. There are songs that borrow a heavier vibe, if only for a moment – only to go back to a mellower, more soulful moment afterwards.
There aren’t a great number of comparisons to Jacque’s vocal style. It lends itself wonderfully to a bluesier style that comes out in many of the songs. But there’s also more traditional beauty that one might expect from a Christian female vocalist. Put another way, Jacque covers a great cross-section from Janis Joplin to a more traditional style. Listening to songs like “Wash Me” and “By Your Blood” offer examples of the former, while songs such as “By Your Blood” and “Sweet Sixteen” offer examples of the latter. There’s a great range of songs from slow to fast, bluesy to balladeering, guitar-driven to piano-centric. In other words, there’s something for anyone and everyone to latch onto and worship along with.
The lyrics are easily a strong point of the entire project, as it’s entirely easy to grab ahold of a line from a song that might otherwise be unrelatable, yet savor it just as much as any other from a song that is more relatable. Listening to “Sweet Sixteen” almost comes across as an intrusion between the artist and her ode to a 16-year old daughter until I arrived at the line: “may the songs of heaven play inside your heart“. In “Break the Silence,” there’s another wonderful line – “The miracles are heaven’s lyrics over me” – that paints an wonderfully vivid picture of Jacque’s faith in terms of music. As one who does relate well to God through music, the lyrics are clearly the most admirable trait of the entire CD.
That’s to say nothing bad of the music, of course. There are numerous Lakewood-related musical guest appearances that will send any Lakewood-attending music fan on a pleasant scavenger hunt to decipher the bass work of Joel Camey, the keyboard work of Mark Townsend, the guitar work of Michael Hodge and the background vocals of Carrie Hodge and Michael Mellett. Add to that some great production work by Lakewood’s own Grammy-winning producer and I’m hoping I didn’t omit anyone. There’s additional guitar work done by Will Owsley, who recorded with erstwhile Lakewood artist, Heath Rosborough. I’m working from memory on that note, but suffice it to say he’s another great addition to the scavenger hunt.
Personal favorites on this CD are numerous. “God’s Poetry” has an introduction that I just love. “Love Unshakable” is a great slow song that makes it easy to get lost in the chorus. “Free” has another chorus that adds some skip to anyone’s step with it’s faster pace. The entire CD starts off with “Live Amazed,” which strikes me as an unusual song. There’s heavier guitar work in it, which I naturally love and am tempted to dust off the guitar to play along with. The tone of the music has an eerie vibe to it, which makes it stand out quite a bit. Lastly, “To Worship You” has a nice, modern-era country vibe to it, which is a great fit for Jacque’s voice.
The CD is now available online at Jacque’s site. If you’re looking for something a little outside the realm of more common praise & worship styles, or looking to hear a wider range of music from some of Lakewood’s best musicians … or just want a great CD with well-written lyrics, some great vocals that stand out from the crowd, and wonderful music … this might be a good one for you. I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected to, so I’m willing to bet the same might be true for others.