Jaci signed a record deal with Inpop Records and released Diamond in 2012.
Jaci, who had taken a few years off following her marriage to fellow musician Nic Gonzales (Salvador) and the birth of their two children, said "I am so excited to be with Inpop. There are many new, creative, and talented faces in the Inpop family that I very much look forward to working alongside. This is in addition to a number of familiar faces that I have worked well with in the past, so it's like a family reunion, but better! The way I look at it, it's the best of both worlds."
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The ‘90s were a fantastic time to be a female vocalist in Christian music. The powerhouse careers of greats such as Amy Grant and Sandi Patty paved the way for the revolution that took place at the end of the 20th century--a time in which female artists such as Rebecca St James, Nichole Nordeman, Susan Ashton and a plethora of others dominated the airwaves with their thought-provoking messages and ear-grabbing tunes.
Included in that endless list was a 14-year-old girl by the name of Jaci Velasquez, who had a big voice and an even bigger vision for ministry. Having grown up singing in church her whole life, Jaci’s biggest break came with her 1996 release, Heavenly Place, which spawned hits such as “On My Knees”, “Un Lugar Celestial (A Heavenly Place)” and “If This World.” The album went on to be certified Platinum and launched what was to become one of CCM’s most influential careers.
It’s almost impossible to list Jaci’s lengthy list of accomplishments into one paragraph. Dozens of English and Spanish recordings, millions of albums sold, countless awards, thousands of sold out shows, not to mention her “hobbies” such as acting and hosting a radio show. It’s safe to say that if there is one word that can describe Jaci Velasquez’s life in the last 16 years, it’s passion.
In 2008, after the release of her Love Out Loud project, Jaci took a quiet sabbatical from the music industry to focus on raising her growing family with husband and Salvador lead vocalist, Nic Gonzales. Having begun a much simpler lifestyle than the fast-paced conditions of the music world, Jaci began to gain a whole new lease on life--as both a wife, a mother of two little boys, and a child of God. And it’s that same lease on life that has inspired some of Jaci’s most intimate and real songwriting to date.
Poised to be one of CCM’s biggest comebacks of the year, Jaci’s newest album, Diamond, is coming from a four-year hiatus full of changes, challenges, victories and ultimately, finding freedom.
“When you look at a diamond, sometimes the flaws and the imperfections of the diamond are actually what make it sparkle the most,” she explains about the idea behind the album. “Diamond is that story for me. How He can find something that the world might toss away, and He can say ‘You’re Mine, you’re beautiful, I have plans for you.’”
The much-anticipated project starts off with the title track, “Diamond,” and sets the stage for a musical journey of both personal discovery and open encouragement. “Give Them Jesus” is the first single, coming as an upbeat reminder that it’s sometimes the smallest things in life that shine the brightest light for Jesus.
“The Sound Of Your Name” is a sweeping song of worship, talking about the awesome yet gentle power found in the voice of the Lord. and transitions nicely into the jazz club-like “Stay.” The intimate “Fall For You” is written from the viewpoint of God towards one of His children who thinks they’ve fallen too far from His grace, only to remind them that nothing they’ve ever done can outweigh His love for them.
Jaci‘s love for her Latin heritage has always made a welcomed appearance on her records, this one being no exception. “Con El Viento A Mi Favor” (translated “With the Wind In My Favor”) is a beautiful moment of surrender that even non-Spanish speakers will enjoy listening to due the sheer anointing felt in the music. The passion found in her Spanish language albums has always gone unmatched and it’s clear to see why in this song. Hopefully we will be greeted by another full-length Spanish album soon.
The album beings to pick up the speed from this point forward with “Tell Me Again,” reflecting on how God’s love overshadows our failures. “Girl” comes as one of the most blunt songs on the record, both lyrically and musically. The message of self-worth and purity directly aimed towards women who are being told to sell themselves to find love is matched unconventionally with a big band style melody that almost sounds like it belongs in a musical. Quirky to say the least, but it fast becomes one of the standout tracks on the record.
The techno pop/rock infused “Trust In You” stands reminiscent of some of her earliest work with a few modern twists, while “Guilt” drives its theme of personal forgiveness deep into the heart of the listener against a haunting guitar driven musical backdrop. The album comes to a close on a simple note with the piano-fronted “Good Morning Sunshine.” It symbolizes the diamond theme of this record beautifully and gives it a storybook ending.
Closing Thoughts: When an artist takes any lengthy amount of time away from the music scene, their return is always met with either an uproar of praise or a page full of problems. I am happy to report however, that not only has Jaci solidified her return to the Christian music industry, but has done so an extremely high note. Vocally, Jaci sounds better than ever, and musically, her lyrical and melodious evolution shines brightly, making this easily her best project to date. Stylistically, there is something for everyone. It tends to lean more on the mellow side, but when it does pick up the pace, it doesn’t miss a beat.
Diamond is aptly titled. It is an absolute gem, one of 2012’s first “must own” albums and by far one of the best projects Christian music has seen from a female vocalist in quite some time. Original yet familiar, longtime fans and new listeners are not going to want to miss this. Jaci Velasquez marks yet another long-awaited CCM return, and I speak for many when I say we hope she’s here to stay.
After taking a few years off from the music spotlight, the multi-platinum selling and highly accoladed Jaci Velasquez is back. The now happily married wife of Nic Gonzalez (Salvador lead vocalist) and mother of two small boys (Zealand & Soren), the singer's latest project shines as one of the best female vocalist and overall pop projects in the last years and recent. Musically the album embodies a versatile of pop elements, vocally stronger than ever before, and lyrically pure genius.
The album starts with the title track Diamond, a personal testimony of how through our hardships and failures in life God is doing something beautiful.The chorus echoes, “How you take an ordinary life and fill it up with so much life because of your love. And I know you see straight through me and trust what You are doing til I’m shining like a diamond”, creating a perfect picturesque of how, as Jaci states a diamond’s “flaws and imperfections” are what make it sparkle the most. The upbeat Give Them Jesus initiates in a longing for the mission field in order to “change the world”, when many times it is in one’s daily norm where one can shine and give the world Jesus.
Beautifully arrayed, The Sound of Your Voice has radio single written all over, as well as potential future worship song to accompany. The song declares God’s majestic grandeur found in His voice that called all of creation into existence.The fun & jazzy Stay resonates a mother’s wish for her children to pertain as babies forever, consciously knowing and wanting to doubt the day they will grow up and leave home. Fall For You comes through the perspective of God and the infinite grace He has towards His children.
Jaci has always been known for her Spanish music, and sharing her Hispanic heritage enriches even more this already stunning record. Con El Viento En Mi Favor (With the Wind in My Favor) comes as a sequel to the story of her highly successful Spanish single Come Se Cura Una Herida. The earlier single discussed a wounded heart and being amidst the healing process, the later delves into complete restoration.
Inciting in piano flares and slowing in hushing acoustics, Tell Me Again comes as a prayer to be reminded of one’s true identity found as a child of God. The orchestral strings and build up endow this enriching song.The catchy Girl appears to be made for the screen or stage with musical like arrangements mirroring themes of “identify” and “self-worth” calling to embrace one’s uniqueness.
The fast paced Trust in You conjoins pop rock and techno remix elements that alter the album’s already multifaceted shimmer.Similarly, Guilty keeps the fast pace with stronger rock integrates resonating themes of fully accepting God’s grace and letting go of shame. Accompanied with a piano lead and violins, the hushing Good Morning Sunshine dismisses listeners warmly.
Jaci Velasquez was a huge hit in the late 1990s and early 2000s in both English and Spanish markets, and Diamond clearly demonstrates why. Jaci never adheres to one sole genre style, but adroitly exhibits a versatile in musical selections. Surely pop yet embodying its many elements, the album soars as a must have. Diamond takes longtime fans to her early works and is a perfect introduction for new listeners. The album excels as a strong comeback from one of the world's most beloved Christian artists of all time.
Welcome back Jaci, we’ve all dearly missed you. We are beyond thrilled and ready for this new chapter!
Jaci's back!| Posted July 06, 2012
After some so-so albums, Jaci comes back shining...yes, like a Diamond! A true delight, this album contains one of my (now) favorite Jaci songs: Stay and the lovely Good Morning Sunshine...Also worth listening to are Girl (though the theme of the song has been overdone), Trust in You, and the title track.
The remakes of her classics are phenomenol...she really breathed new life into her old songs and they are, in my opinion, better than the originals.
Diamond| Posted June 28, 2012
Like thh name of the album, Jaci is a rare precious stone, a diamond. She's singing amazing songs to the lord! I love the song "Con El Viento A Mi Favor" from this cd, i cant wait to buy this Album! lol
A Gem For Sure| Posted February 04, 2012
I really enjoyed this album. Diamond was an upbeat song that started off the album well. Give Them Jesus was insanely catchy and fun to listen and sing along to. Sound of Your Voice was an anthemic song that was very powerful. Stay was really beautiful, it gave me chills. Fall For You was another beautiful ballad. Con El Viento A Mi Favor was a yet another chilling ballad. If only I culd understand it. The song is in Latin(?). Tell Me Again was a fun jazzy song. Girl was bluesy and jazzy and had some mo-town background. Trust In You and Guilt were kind of rock. They were louder than the rest of the album and was kind of heavy on the guitars. Good Morning Sunshine was a sunny, happy, track that finished off the album in a nice way.
This album is SO worth getting. Preorder it on iTunes!
Diamond| Posted February 01, 2012
Album is lovely amazing. I love it. Amazing voice and woman too just love the way you worship eish. I remember i get down on my kness on this album love all the tracks especially Jesus having captured my heart. Mi corazon! ummm
Another Great Album| Posted February 01, 2012
Another great album fro one of my favorite Artist. Great talent and amazing message in the music. It's moving music and Lyrics will last a life time. I advice everyone to run to the store and pick this one up. I will.This cd was worth waiting for.Close your eyes and just listen with you ears and Heart it is Amazing.
Pleasantly surprised| Posted January 31, 2012
I saw Jaci in concert this past weekend and was not impressed at all. I felt bad (even guilty) for not enjoying the music over the weekend. When I saw the chance to listen to her album this week I almost passed the chance by, but something told me to give it a listen. I was very pleassantly surprised to enjoy it.
She has a really beautiful voice and I liked the songs she sang on the album. So Jaci, I'm sorry for judging you only by this past weekend at Winter Blitz. Your album is beautiful.
DIAMOND!| Posted January 31, 2012
AMAZING!!!!! I Love listening to Jaci she has been given an Amazing gift from God; and is blessing others with her beautiful voice! Praise the Lord for her using her voice to Glorify Him! THANK YOU NRTeam for Sharing these songs, May God Bless All of you who make this site possible; it lifts my spirit everytime I visit and listen! :-}
She's Back| Posted January 31, 2012
I may be a little bias...I have loved Jaci's music since BEFORE she won all those DOVE awards.
I'm really happy to hear that she is doing what God has called her to do.
From the Album Preview I was able to appreciate the diversity in music styles, you won't get bored because you don't know what is coming next and you can also appreciate the range of Jaci's vocal talent.
Diamond| Posted January 31, 2012
Diamond is a both powerfully personal and beautifully vulnerable album for Jaci Velasquez. It centers around themes of restoration and God's favor. Her testimony shines through the songs in every way and the album's musical excellence allows the listener to be taken on a wonderful journey of that testimony. It's a great record and a must-have for any collection.