Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Lost Get Found - Britt Nicole

Day Dawns for Britt Nicole

The Lost Get Found
Artist: Britt Nicole (www.brittnicole.com)
Label: Sparrow
Length: 11 tracks/38:31 minutes

Strings that you might hear in an epic movie scene open the title track. Percussion kicks-in like a thunderclap. It’s a sublime start to a song that in Nicole’s words is “simply about being who we are called to be as Christians, and through that, seeing the lost get found. I believe that when we become who we are called to be, the lost will come to know God.”

That means more than the song being #1 for at least five weeks on the Radio & Records Christian Hit Radio chart. The CD opened at #63 on Billboard’s all-genre Top 200 albums chart. It was also #10 on their Christian chart for the week of 9/13/09. It’s impressive for the 23-year-old’s second recording, which follows Say It, her debut, which yielded three #1 singles and gained airplay on MTV’s “The Hills.”

What impresses me is a wonderful blend of organic and programmed sounds. The world of pop music has changed with the influence of hip-hop, urban and dance, all of which are felt here. It’s a real art to combine old and new in such a delicious blend. “How We Roll,” like all of these songs is completely modern, but it also has a vintage organ sound that is a perfect complement to the funky groove.

Watch out Lady Gaga. Nicole is blessed with pipes that are the dream of aspiring singers. She is quite the expert at making monosyllables ripe for consumption. I am not always sure what she is singing about—spiritual references tend to be subtle and some songs are in the celebratory dance mode—but it all sounds so good.

The weaker moments for me come on “Welcome to the Show” and “Glow” which tend toward rock. The execution is fine, but the music is not as catchy. I guess I have been spoiled elsewhere by infectious rhythms and ballads that sound fresh.

With regard to the latter, the closer, “Have Your Way,” is stunning. It’s vulnerable, intimate and has spiritual depth and maturity. It’s about choosing to trust and worshipping with one’s life even if everything is lost or stripped away.

This is not the kind of music that is familiar to me. It’s far removed from the adult contemporary pop that was so common among Christian artists. I am surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It’s creative and fun, but it also has substance. Unlike early Christian music, which could suffer from poor production, this is on par with anything in the marketplace.

The day is just dawning for Britt Nicole. As she continues on this path, I expect her future will get brighter and brighter (See Proverbs 4:18).
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