Friday, November 9, 2007

This is worth getting just for the lengthy interview

Open House Christmas EP Limited Edition
Artist: Jaci Velasquez (
Label: A’postrophe Records/Word Distribution
Length: 4 tracks/42:00 minutes

For those who enjoy interviews, Jaci Velasquez’s honest reflections on her life the past two years may be the biggest reason for getting this. Musically, we haven’t heard from her since 2005’s Beauty Has Grace.

After going through a divorce, Velasquez has spent the last two years lying low and seeking to discover who she was apart from her music. In an interview that lasts for just over 29 minutes she describes what she went through after the breakup with her first husband: the response from the CCM industry, her depression and counseling, and a brief move to London where she attended school for a semester.

On the brighter side, she communicates the grace of God as she tells of the new things that God is doing in her life. This includes meeting her new husband (Nic Gonzales of Salvador), their decision to start a family (she’s expecting!), the healing she experienced in her relationship with God and her earthly father, and her excitement over a new record due for release in the Spring of 2008.

Having been through one of the toughest experiences that anyone could ever go through, her desire is that the new record would bring hope and healing to those who are going through hard times. "You can be happy," she would say to those who feel like they will never see better days.

She goes into great detail about the meaning behind several of the tracks on her 2008 release. The producer is Mark Heimmerman, the man behind her first three recordings and some of her most popular songs.

Chris Bevins who plays keyboards and adds programming produced this three song EP. Nic Gonzales makes his presence felt on acoustic and electric guitars and BGV’s.

It starts off lively, with a piano-driven pop rendition of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." This is followed by the dramatic "Quiet Christmas Night (Gloria)" an original Christmas song. A razor-edged guitar propels an anthem-like chorus on which Jaci’s voice soars. This is the best song, but Velasquez sounds as good as ever on each track.

The last song, "Auld Lang Syne," has programming at the core, which gives it a more modern sound. I give her credit for recording verses that are normally only heard on New Year’s Eve and at the end of the movie, "It’s A Wonderful Life." This Scottish song credited to Robert Burns reminisces about friendships and fond memories. I’m glad to finally have a recorded version.

If you are a fan of Jaci Velasquez, you will want to add this to your music collection. The interview whets your appetite for her next release, which sounds like a must-have for those looking for solace in their suffering.

Image: Nic and Jaci - God heals the brokenhearted.
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