JJ Heller [When I'm With You]| Posted October 02, 2010 When I'm With You is JJ Heller?s new album, released on October 19th. JJ says ?This is by far my favorite record I've made. As the title implies, the theme of the record is relationships, and how they affect our lives.? In writing material for the new release, JJ poured her every day observations into her songbook: stories she heard while traveling, and those nearer to her heart. "This album is all about redemption," observes JJ. "Looking back on the songs, there's a lot of struggle written into them because that's life. Everyone has different problems to face, but in the end, the outcome hinges on how you deal with those struggles-- if you allow them to destroy you or make you stronger."
If you liked ?Your Hands? from JJ?s last album Painted Red, don?t hesitate to get this album. ?Tell It Again? kicks off the album with an upbeat and catchy song in the style of ?Save Me? from Painted Red. Musically it reminds me of Tal & Acacia?s song ?Merry Go Round? and expresses the truth ?You?re the favorite part of this story, tell it again to me.? ?When I?m With You? is written from the perspective of JJ as a new mother to her daughter Lucy. ?You make me believe in love. I could never count all the ways that you change me?baby, every day the sky is a deeper shade of blue?when I?m with you.?
A song that will stop you in your tracks is the first single ?What Love Really Means.? I have been married for 16 years and have 3 young daughters and everyone can really relate to the sincerity and sensitivity of this amazing song. The song addresses the broken cry of all of us, especially women who struggle with finding their true identity in Christ. All believers know that Christ is the only answer to the question in the extremely moving chorus ?Who will love me for me?, Not for what I have done or what I will become, Who will love me for me?, ?Cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means.? Perhaps it's her insight and sensitivity that consistently draw a female audience to JJ's music. She touches on issues of self-image and worry, questions of faith, and feelings of loneliness; her songs resonate with women and offer encouragement. ?For some reason, Christians (including myself) sometimes think, ?if I?m following the Lord and doing the best I can, that life will be easy,? and it?s not. That?s where grace comes in, and that?s where we grow.? ?We have the choice to live in fear, or to live in the hope that God is in every moment with us,? JJ says. ?That?s one of the major themes of this season in my life.?
?Kingdom Come? is another catchy and sincere song along with ?Boat Song? which includes the great chorus ?do you know we belong together, do you know my heart is yours?? What?s so relatable is how these ?relationship? songs are relevant for everyone, but especially if you know Jesus, then you know the ultimate answer to the quest for love can only be found in Him. No song better displays that emotion than ?Control? which includes the extremely moving description of someone seeking perfection and is a cutter who ultimately finds redemption in the ?hope living in the blood that was spilled for me.? I started sobbing the first time I heard the emotional bridge of the song, it?s that moving and beautiful. The themes of redemption and relationship continue strongly with the rest of the songs ?Love Can Make You New,? ?Olivianna,? ?No Fight Left? and ?Until You Came Along.? There are no weak songs and lyrically this is easily the most moving album I?ve ever heard. JJ?s sincere and sweet vocal style has never been better and if you like Audrey Assad and Sara Groves, you need to pick up this album. You won?t regret it.
This is one of those ?gourmet? albums that only comes along every once in awhile. For me, I have to fight back tears while listening to several of the songs, especially the lead single ?What Love Really Means,? which should win song of the year in my opinion, along with ?When I?m With You? and the gorgeous and moving song ?Control.? This is one of the freshest and most authentic albums of the year. Surprisingly, it exceeds Painted Red picking up where "Your Hands" left off and taking it up a notch in my opinion.