Sunday, January 2, 2011

Kerrie Roberts

Soulful, ministry-minded pop

Kerrie Roberts – Self-titled debut (http://www.kerrieroberts.com/)
Label: Reunion Records
Length: 10 tracks/39:43 minutes

Kerrie Roberts’ self-titled debut is a ministry-minded collection of soulful pop. Don’t get the wrong idea. These are well-crafted songs that don’t suffer from being message-driven. Roberts gets excellent support from talented producers and musicians. It’s just that Roberts, who has a hand in writing every track, has a heart to console and encourage those weighed down by life. Encouragement may be an overlooked ministry, but it has never been more vital.

Hope gets expressed in thoughtful ways. It’s a little like taking the lyrics of Cindy Morgan and combining them with the vocals of Jana Long (Avalon) and Nicol Sponberg (formerly Selah). All three of these women could serve as wonderful mentors.

The music varies. “No Matter What,” released as a single, has a programmed hip-hop rhythm, which works well. There are hints of this elsewhere, but Roberts also uses pop, rock, soul, gospel, inspirational and even club music. Speaking of the latter, “Outcast,” is a sassy dance song about self acceptance in the face of being rejected as not good enough by the in-crowd. Cindy Morgan shares writing credits.

“Love Comes Down,” produced by Brown Bannister, has a small gospel choir that gives it extra punch. The closing, “Savior to Me (Sing Glory),” is a song of worship.

Lyrically, the words are subtle enough to appeal to non-Christians and could serve as a bridge to faith. The encouragement to never, never, never give up (as John Wesley put it) is universally appreciated.

This pastor’s daughter succeeds in her stated purpose: “I want every song to leave people with a sense of purpose – a call to action, a realization of truth, a promotion of hope and healing.”
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