The first full-length project from powerhouse vocalist Jessie Daniels has finally arrived. After successfully releasing a six-song EP via her website, and touring with the likes of Seventh Day Slumber, Kutless, Across The Sky and Paul Wright, the Long Island native’s self-titled CD is the first CCM release for mainstream label Midas Records. Produced by Scott Davis, the twelve tracks featured on the disc (ten of which are co-written by Daniels) capture a rock ambience (with a slight pop edge) filled with relevant lyrics, singable melodies and infectious hooks. The multi-talented Daniels gives us a deep and honest look inside her spiritual journey and soul, while tackling some of life’s issues along the way (coming of age, finding love, overcoming personal struggle).
I was hard pressed to come up with some favorite tracks on the CD, as the disc in whole is so amazing. Opening the CD is “The Noise”, the project’s first single. This catchy tune, which you’ll find yourself singing over repeatedly, has a message that’s plain and simple; even when we get caught up in all the chaos and activity in our lives, God’s voice eventually breaks through and points us back in the right direction. Tracks such as “Everyday” and “Hello/Goodbye” feature Daniels straightforward pop rock sound and energetic vocals. The latter-mentioned track has dual meaning, as Daniels points out. Whether it is Satan or an old boyfriend, they’re people you don’t ever want to see again, but they always seem to resurface. The one thing that really makes the disc shine is the duality that is woven throughout. Not only do the songs speak to those who know the Lord, but they could also fit in perfectly on any secular radio station. I also enjoyed the disc’s two ballads, “I Will Wait For You” and “It’s No Wonder.” The latter is a heart-wrenching ballad about a break-up Daniels personally experienced, but from a godly perspective with hope for the future. Other musical highlights include “Hold Me Now” and “Stand Out,” about being true to yourself and the way God wants you to be (and not the world).
Full of musical and lyrical maturity way beyond her eighteen-years, Jessie Daniels is one disc that’s not to be missed. This disc is by far one of the better debut’s I’ve heard in the past few years. The CD is already scheduled for my best of 2006 list. I will wait anxiously to see what great things God has planned for this amazing artist. Enjoy!
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