Monday, September 13, 2010

Natalie Grant: Love Revolution Review



Natalie Grant’s latest CD Love Revolution is a call to action. Containing mostly upbeat tracks, with a few worshipful ballads, Love Revolution definitely has something for everyone, and is definitely Natalie’s best album to date.

Love Revolution begins with two anthems, “Daring To Be,” and the title track. “Daring To Be” has a touch of a disco sound, and has a strong message of going against a mundane life. Natalie “whoa’s” in the background were a huge asset to this track. The title track “Love Revolution” is a prayer that God would arouse our spirits and spark a love revolution. At first, the track began on a weak note, but built very well by the arrival of the chorus.

“The Greatness of Our God” is Natalie’s cover of the song written by Reuben Morgan for Hillsong Live. Slowing down a bit to speak of the splendor and majesty of our God, it has been a huge success on itunes and major downloading sites. As much as I love this track, it seemed a little out of place after two upbeat songs such as “Daring to Be” and “Love Revolution.” Nevertheless, its powerful message, mixed with Natalie’s strong vocals, makes it an inspiring worship song. “Human” retains the slower sound of “The Greatness of Our God,” and is a song filled with a powerful beat. This track speaks of being ourselves and reaching out to others, and was co-written with American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. I personally thought that the lyrics could have been more expounded on, even though it had an excellent message. Again, it seemed slightly out of place after three powerful extremely Christian songs. However, the demanding drumbeat made it a crossover between worship and the overall scope of the album. 

“Beauty Mark” gets things going again with a gospel/pop/rock style. By far my favorite track on Love Revolution, it contains a prayer that we will look like love, faith, hope, and grace: “I know just where to start/ I’ll let You be my beauty mark.” “Power of the Cross” follows, slowing things down again. Natalie’s dynamic voice, mixed with the beautiful piano music, makes this song sound like a popular hymn. Its simple chorus says and repeats: “That’s the power of the cross/ see the chains fall.” Just when you think you can’t help but sing along, the key changes up and Natalie begins to sing higher. If you aren’t going to buy this album, make sure you hear this song!

Natalie again does a Hillsong cover with “Desert Song,” a famous Brooke Fraser track. I loved the overwhelming beat of Natalie’s version, and would say that it was definitely an improvement from the Hillsong version. One interesting point about this song is that instead of slowing down for the bridge as Hillsong did, Natalie actually sang it stronger, making the song seem much more powerful. “Your Great Name” follows, and was one of the best tracks on the album. I loved the futuristic feel to the song, which actually gave me shivers when listening to it. The instrumental portions of the song sound similar to those of RED’s music, which shouldn’t be surprising since Natalie’s husband Bernie Herms happens to be the producer/instrumental director for RED! I wouldn’t be surprised to see such a powerful, worship-provoking song such as this make it to main-stream radio.

“You Deserve” begins very similar to “Power of the Cross,” and, as it’s name implies, speaks of all that God truly deserves. I was waiting for the song to build for a while, and was glad when it built very well after the bridge, and Natalie began singing high melodies. “Someday Our King Will Come” is a good gospel song with a bit of a blues feel to it, and is one of those tracks that we all hope Natalie will perform. It seemed as if it were a track that Rachael Lampa would have sung in, for the style is very similar to that of Rachael’s music (particularly her self-titled album).

Love Revolution features two slower bonus tracks. One of these bonus tracks is “Song to the King,” mostly a piano/vocals track exalting Jesus for His goodness to us. Finally, the album ends with an acoustic version of “Your Great Name,” obviously not as good as the original version, but certainly not a bad endeavor. The guitar picking in this song was pretty cool, and this track definitely accentuated Natalie’s voice. It’s really one of those songs that you either love or hate. I did think the harmony in this song was exceptional.

Love Revolution is a superb project! Many of the songs on this album (such as “Your Great Name” and “Daring To Be”) are powerful rock anthems that provoke singing, while others (such as “The Greatness of Our God”) are worshipful, slower tracks. I especially enjoyed the gospel style that Natalie incorporates into her music, such as that of “Someday Our King Will Come” and “Beauty Mark.” Oddly enough, I have never been a big fan of Natalie’s music, but was blown away by the excellency of this project. It really does have something for everybody.

Rating 4.5/5

Track listing:

1. Daring To Be (3:49)
2. Love Revolution (4:21)
3. Greatness Of Our God (4:07)
4. Human (3:56)
5. Beauty Mark (3:20)
6. Power Of The Cross (3:52)
7. Desert Song (3:47)
8. Your Great Name (6:01)
9. You Deserve (4:52)
10. Someday Our King Will Come (3:32)
11. Song To The King (Bonus Track) (5:42)
12. Your Great Name (Acoustic Bonus Track) (5:34)

3 comments:

  1. I totally agree, when I heard the instrumental parts of Your Great Name I instantly thought of Red.

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  2. I found a link to your review at Twitter. I agree that "Love Revolution" is Nat's best album to date. "Relentless" was the first CD of hers that I ever owned. I wasn't really big into her music until "I Will Not Be Moved", which I, not at all a fan of aggressive music, ironically fell in love with. After I got the "Relentless" CD was when I really took a bigger interest in Natalie's music; I'd always liked her before, but that was the turning point. I think my favorite cut on "Love Revolution" is "Power of the Cross". That song moved me the first time I heard it, and that doesn't happen a lot, so I knew it was something special. I just get little chills when I hear "That's the power of the cross; see the chains fall..." and then the key change...there's something really beautiful about that. I like how the song "You Deserve" starts out really simple, raw and honest, and then in the middle it builds into what I likened to almost a prophetic worship feel; I hope everyone understands what I mean by that. And then the last chorus is almost a heartbreaking emotional refrain. That is powerful!

    My personal reviews tend to be very long and detailed; so I never actually publish those, at least not entirely. I haven't reviewed this project yet, but I'm in love with it! :)

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  3. Cara: Isn't it awesome? I hope Natalie does more of these instrumentals!

    Clarissa: Hey, it's so cool to hear when people find me through twitter! (Followed you, BTW)

    I totally understand what you mean, too! Power of the Cross is so moving and so real. I got chills when listening to several of Natalie's latest songs. They're just so full and so strong!

    Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! Hope you like what you see here! :)

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