Friday, January 7, 2011

JJ Heller: When I'm With You Review


JJ Heller is no stranger to Christian music. In fact, her latest release When I'm With You is her fourth studio album with Stone Table Records, not to mention her independent projects. But it wasn't until recently that Christian radio picked up several of JJ's singles (recently playing "What Love Really Means") that JJ received large acceptance. It's not surprising to see why JJ Heller's music is becoming popular -- the acoustic guitar/wonderful voice combo makes for a peaceful style of music very enjoyable.

When I'm With You opens with "Tell It Again," a love song to JJ's husband Dave, with these sweet lyrics: "So hold me/ when you're here I'll never be lonely/ you're my favorite part of this story/ so tell it again and again to me." Musically, "Tell It Again" is based on acoustic guitars, with a slight country feel. Also, the fill-ins provided a wonderful asset to the opening track. The title track again is a sweet love song with a slightly blues, catchy beat that is sure to make you dance along.



"What Love Really Means" is an awesome radio single keeping up musically with the previous two tracks. In this song, JJ follows the lives of three broken individuals, and how God loves each and every one of us for who we are -- not for what we have done -- and that He will give us a love we never knew before. After hearing When I'm With You, I believe that "What Love Really Means" was the best single to send to radio. "Kingdom Come" is a very simple, yet profound worship song speaking of that wonderful day when all will be made new and we will "walk on golden ground." I especially loved the bridge that accentuated JJ's peaceful voice: "All sorrows and sighs will fade away into the night/ and all will be made new."

"Boat Song" is yet another love song, speaking of how JJ and her husband Dave belong together and fill in where the other can't. Following is "Control," a powerful song speaking of letting hurt go because of "the hope living in the blood that was spilled for me." The quiet, but powering drums provided a nice backing for this track. "Love Can Make You New" was another love song speaking about the fact that love can change the things we are not proud of, as "Olivianna" speaks about the fact that although life may be short here on earth, being in the arms of God is more comforting than it is here on earth.

"No Fight Left" speaks about how when we have no energy to fight our battles, we can give it to God and let Him fight for us. Again, I especially enjoyed the bridge: "There's no place I can go/ Where You don't already know/ How to reach right down and pull me out/ I need you." Finally, When I'm With You ends with "Until You Came Along," acting as the ending chapter in a book, as JJ speaks of how nothing made sense without her husband, and how she would never want to go back to being without him.

Overall, JJ Heller's When I'm With You was a very enjoyable album. I really enjoyed the acoustic, peaceful flow to JJ's latest album, as well as encouraging lyrics that songs such as "What Love Really Means" provided. Even the sweet love songs were enjoyable as well, although I wished that there were more of the inspirational songs to "sandwhich" the love songs. Therefore, I rate this album a 4/5.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: 2014

Track listing:
1. Tell It Again
2. When I'm With You
3. What Love Really Means
4. Kingdom Come
5. Boat Song
6. Control
7. Love Can Make You New
8. Olivianna
9. No Fight Left
10. Until You Came Along

4 comments:

  1. You have this post labeled as "movie reviews". I think you meant to put album reviews. ;) Great review! I really like JJ's stuff!

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  2. *gah* you definetly... definetly need to do a giveaway. ;)

    I love JJ Heller.

    xx,
    Bleah

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  3. Thanks for reviewing this cd! I was planning on buying some new music and this was one of my options. JJ Heller is awesome...

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  4. @Anon: Haha! Thanks for pointing that out! I like when my reader's do that for me, because it prevents me from being embarrassed later. :D

    @Bleah: I promise, I promise! A giveaway is coming up in the next few days!!! :D

    @Lisa: You are very welcome! Glad you enjoyed the read! :D

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