Thursday, February 2, 2012

Jaci Velasquez: Diamond Review

It’s been four long years since Jaci Velasquez delivered her last album Love Out Loud. The beloved female-vocalist first debuted in the early 90s, delivering such classics and CCM chart-toppers as “On My Knees,” “Every Time I Fall,” “God So Loved,” “Imagine Me Without You,” and so many more. And during the past few years, Jaci has also managed to appear in several supportive roles of Christian films, get married to Nic Gonzales of Salvador and have two children, and become the co-host for the Doug and Jaci morning show on Today’s Christian Music radio. With all these accomplishments under her belt, Jaci is finally back in the Christian music scene with her eleven track album Diamond. Diamond is also her Inpop Records debut.

The title track opens the album nicely, on a mellow contemporary note. The encouragement flows through the opening track as we are reminded that God’s work in us will make us shine like a diamond, even when we can’t see what it is He’s doing: “And I know You see straight through me/ and I trust what You are doing/ ‘till I’m shining like a diamond.” The single “Give Them Jesus” follows, easily the most upbeat and catchy track off Diamond. A prayer that we would become more like Christ, the track is very similar to Matthew West’s “My Own Little World,” especially lyrically. It also sounds very much like Jaci’s older pop hits, which is great for the longtime fans of Jaci’s.

A simple, but powerful worship song, “The Sound of Your Voice” follows, speaking of how there is “nothing more powerful, nothing more glorious than the sound of Your voice.” The jazzy “Stay” follows, speaking of heart-break over saying good-bye to someone you love, probably from the perspective of a parent to a grown-up child. It’s not the best track off the record, but again, it provides a flashback to Jaci’s older music, which is definitely appreciated.

The powerful “Fall For You” is another instant highlight off Diamond. Key changes and buildups compliment the touching message of the track. The listener will no doubt enjoy hearing what God might say if He were singing over us, that we can never fall too far from His grace: “Even ‘till the end of time/ even if two worlds collide/ I will never let you fall/ I’ll fall for you.” “Con El Viento A Mi Favor,” meaning “With the Wind in My Favor” for those who aren’t Spanish inclined, is still a fantastic listen. Beautiful strings and Jaci’s vocals, sounding better than ever, are definitely a highlight, making for a timeless track.

The serene “Tell Me Again” speaks of the times when we just need to hear God say that we are loved, even though we know it deep down inside. A key change and plenty of background vocals make the track simply amazing. The somewhat quirky “Girl” offers encouragement to girls who think they have to change who they are to please others. I have no doubt this track will become young girls’ soundtrack, especially through their high-school years: “Girl, you got a way, something about you that fits you perfectly/ and girl, you got a laugh that makes me smile/ Yeah, you know you’re so unique/ And don’t let anybody question your style/ Don’t let ‘em talk ‘till they walk in your shoes/ just for a while.”

“Trust In You” speaks of learning to trust in God during the storms of life. The short periods of techno effects through the verses are definitely a highlight! “Guilt” follows, offering a powerful message of forgiveness, especially through the simple line of the chorus, “I’m not guilty any more.” And lastly comes “Good Morning Sunshine.” The serene piano and Jaci’s soft vocals provide for a bit of a slightly haunting love song with a touch of a futuristic feel.

Diamond definitely finds Jaci Velasquez at her best! This eleven-track album is her most down-to-earth, relatable album yet. The longtime fan of Jaci will no doubt have this album on repeat, refreshing themselves in the encouraging lyrics, beautiful vocals, and upbeat pop that Jaci Velasquez has to offer through her latest album.

Rating: 4/5
Release date: February 7, 2012

Track listing:
1. Diamond
2. Give Them Jesus
3. The Sound of Your Voice
4. Stay
5. Fall For You
6. Con El Viento A Mi Favor
7. Tell Me Again
8. Girl
9. Trust In You
10. Guilt
11. Good Morning Sunshine

1 comment:

  1. Good album review I liked it. I heard the whole album on New Release Tuesday in the album preview. It is a real good album and I liked it. I am looking forward to getting it as I have missed the good music from Jaci Velasquez.


Thank you for commenting! All comments are moderated and may take time to process.