Radiate fills a void of encouragement, especially for girls and young women, to rise above cultural norms.
Label: Inpop Records
Length: 12 tracks/39:58 minutes
As I listened to the words of “Everything as Loss,” the opening track on Radiate by Tricia, my heart leaped for joy. More than all the mixed messages that we get on the radio, this is what I want to hear. This has the familiar big beats and electronics, but most compelling, a mature spiritual perspective.
The opening line expresses it well through seldom used sarcasm, “What I want / What I need / Has got me running after the temporary / Like the stuff that I get will make me complete.” I want to laugh out loud at hearing what I know to be true said in such a funny way. Oh, for a revolution in radio where we get such a winsome combination of truth and creativity.
The booming chorus provides an alternative to fleeting pursuits, “Let my life prove that compared to what you finished on the cross / I count everything as loss.” It’s amazing how such monumental truth can fit so well in a pop song. This song deserves a wide audience.
Some tracks deal specifically with identity, image and esteem issues for girls and young women. The chorus of “Mirror Mirror” is adapted from the old fairy tale, “Mirror mirror on the wall / Do you really think you know it all / You don’t know me / You don’t own me / Mirror mirror on the wall / It doesn’t matter what you think at all / We’re more than just a reflection / Because when I look at you / All I see is beautiful.” This reminds listeners that each person is an individual, an original, made in God’s image and loved by Him. Beauty is more than superficial features.
“Good to be a Girl” mixes attitude and humor in marching orders for an “army dressed-up all in pink.” Girls need not be ashamed of being different. In a call and response section, even the guys are asked if they get it.
A different side of Tricia is expressed on “Love Will Not Let Me Go” and “What I Know,” which are serious keyboard-driven ballads. Both provide comfort.
The biggest, most delightful surprise is “Without You,” a folk-infused praise song. Banjo and handclaps add to a gentle driving sound. I am glad that artists like Mumford & Sons have popularized this style. Otherwise, what may be my favorite might not have shown up on this release.
Tricia is the lead-singer for Superchick. Radiate is a collaboration with her producer-husband, Nick Baumhardt (Stellar Kart), who co-wrote many of the songs.