Taking Back the Music!
Posted August 15, 2011
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In the last five years, musicians such as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, and other female vocalists have dominated mainstream radio with their catchy beats, signature voices, and controversial lyrics.
From Gaga openly admitting her admiration for “Judas” to Rihanna admitting she loves the way her beau lies to her, it would seem the only way lovers of today’s urban influenced pop music would be able to enjoy it would be having to bear with it’s backwards and blatantly vulgar messages.
Personally, as someone who has a young teenage sister who loves pop music, the thought of her listening to many of the songs currently on the charts is, frankly, sickening. Myself, like many, have long been hoping for a God honoring alternative to counter-act the messages found in today’s culture and take back the music for the One it was created for.
Enter Beckah Shae.
Certainly no up-and-comer in the industry--having previously released a handful of independent projects--Shae’s career caught the eye of Christian music lovers in 2010 after hearing “Funky Jesus Music,” her duet with tobyMac on his acclaimed Tonight album, as well as her two chart-topping singles, “Here In This Moment” and “Life” from her most recent album, Life.
Having garnered a dedicated following over the last year--in part by her unique way of connecting with people through “Scripture Snacks” (verses sung a cappella) and re-tooled Top 40 covers on her YouTube channel--it was only a matter of time before a follow up to Life was not only wanted by fans, but demanded.
“People are only listening to what’s being handed to them,” Beckah says of the message found in today‘s mainstream pop music. “It’s up to us to give them something more to help renew their minds.” Beckah Shae’s highly anticipated 2011 release, Destiny, does just that.
The album surprisingly starts off with the haunting and dramatic “Are You Ready,” a convicting question aimed at the Church and our readiness, or lack thereof, for the return of Christ. Picking up speed, “Music” shares the heart behind Beckah’s ministry of taking back music for the kingdom, mincing no words in the process: “We need a remedy for the insanity / we need a melody to help us believe.” This is a track listeners will gravitate to immediately, and I hope to see as a single in the future.
“Supernova” spreads the message of being the light in a dark world, while the club influenced “Holy”--unconventional to say the least--leads you into a moment of worship. The R&B flavored “Just to Know” goes directly into the album’s first single, “#putyourloveglasseson”, inspired by a common hashtag Shae is known to use on Twitter. Far more than a social quirk, the song is a challenge for people to step out of their comfort zones and reach this world for Christ by seeing people through His eyes.
“For Such A Time As This” ties in the theme of the record, ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and encourages the listener to see beyond the battles they are facing and press on towards the prize that lies ahead. “Show Me” is a Rihanna-sounding, straightforward message against secular conformity and the search for truth, and is hands-down the standout track on this album. Vocally and musically. Had I not known, I never would have suspected I was listening to a Christian album. Fantastic artistry.
The fast paced “We Are” starts off with a victorious blast from a traditional Jewish Shofar (as a handful of the songs on this album do). It becomes an anthem, encouraging us to be the change we want to see in this world.
The inspiring “Hope” gives the listener just that, before diving into the most dance-driven of all the songs, “Gold.” Many fans had the privilege of hearing this song as it became available last year as an iTunes exclusive. It makes a great addiction to this album and once more, ties in theme of the album before coming to a close with the title track, “Destiny,” which boasts the message of our future not being governed by fate, but by the choices we make. It’s a thought-provoking and fun way to end a thought-provoking and fun album.
Beckah Shae has once again left me speechless. This album, from start to finish, is a complete gem. It’s obvious how much Beckah loves her art, but more than that, it’s obvious how much she loves Jesus. Every song on this album is challenging, convicting, upbeat, and worshipful. While this might not be the “most-own” album of the year for those who are into a more laid-back, contemporary style of music, those who are looking for the God-centered alternative to mainstream pop have definitely found their new favorite singer. Destiny is easily one of the top five Christian pop albums of the year and something die-hard fans will NOT want to miss. If Beckah Shae continues on the path she has with this record, I can safely say we have many, many more years of excellent music to look forward to.
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