Stephanie Smith finally released her debut album at the very end of 2008, after multiple pushbacks (It was originally slated for a Fall 2007 release). And apparently she wasted no time getting back into the studio. This five-song EP came almost a year after Not Afraid’s release, but it’s evident that Smith wanted to come back strong.
While Not Afraid was mostly a slew of pop/rock songs in the vein of Superchic[k] and Krystal Meyers, this self-titled EP is a reinvention, if you will, of Stephanie’s musical direction. Instead of the all-too-familiar pop/rock sound, Stephanie has gone with a full fledged “chick rock” style for this EP. Four of the five songs are very edgy, with a style more similar to Fireflight or Èowyn.
From the EP’s get-go, the rollicking “Back To Innocence” and “Heart Attack” immediately show a more mature side of Stephanie. The honesty and vulnerability in the lyrics are a big highlight of the EP, picking up right where “In My Eyes” and “First Words” left off. “If You Really Want…” may seem like a misstep to some listeners, but it’s actually a poppy, quirky track with some really bold lyrics about living the Christian life. The best song on the EP is probably the final track, “Joshua,” which uses the Biblical story of Jericho as a metaphor for brokenness, with lyrics like “Come and break me down/Won’t you march around these walls/Burn them to the ground.”
Although Stephanie’s genre of music may not be the most unique, her openness and boldness really set her apart from other CCM acts. Stephanie's inner rocker really shines with this EP.
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Beauty From Brokenness…| Posted November 17, 2009
Gotee Records rocker Stephanie Smith mad her debut back in 2008 with her ?Not Afraid? album. Stephanie got a following while touring with tobyMac in early 2009, and it was while she was on that tour when she began writing for this new iTunes exclusive EP simply titled ?The Stephanie Smith EP?.
From the first listen you will hear it right away--Stephanie?s vocals have matured quite a bit since ?Not Afraid?, she defiantly has one of the most powerful vocals in Christian music?what else that has matured is her sound. ?Not Afraid? covered a lot of the basics, pop rock and punk. This new EP reveals a darker musical side to the gifted female vocalist. This album, lyrically, obviously came from a tough place in Stephanie?s life--but the beauty of the songs is the fact that in each moment of that, God was not only with her, but He got her out of it. Some of the songs on her first album were almost confusing in their meaning but all that has been cleared up with this EP for sure?
?Back To Innocence? and ?Pieces of my Heart? reveal a broken spirit but with that non-stop message of hope and faith that have gotten her tough. Musically, it is much edgier, most of the pop has been replaced with heavy rock rifts that will make any rock music fan amazed at the powerhouse vocals she matches it with.
After ?Not Afraid?, I was a bit confused by Stephanie?s style of music, but this EP has cleared all that up for me. Stephanie?s music has changed a lot in a year and a half and this album is proof of that--it is also proof of the faithfulness of our God and how He will always be with us and get us through--He promises that. This album is a real treat for fans, and now that she is headed back out on the road with tobyMac for the rest of 2009, a whole new group of fans will hear Stephanie?s tunes?and they will like what they hear. I guarantee it.
Sounds great!| Posted November 18, 2009
I haven't purchased the album yet, but I listened to the samples on itunes and I can't wait to listen to the full version! They all sound so great and have great themes. I can't decide which I like best, they're all so good!