Posted September 26, 2011
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
The early millennium was a thriving time for female pop artists in the secular music arena, with names like Britney and Christina to thank for that. Needless to say, it was only a matter of time before Christian music had their say in the genre, producing up-and-coming artists such as Stacie Orrico, Joy Williams, ZOEgirl, and several other talented young vocalists. Among that group was a 15-year-old girl by the name of Rachael Lampa, a girl who’d soon be known for her catchy songs, and most notably, her larger than life voice.
Over the next several years, Rachael went on to become one of the most successful young woman in CCM. A handful of #1 singles, five albums, non-stop touring, multiple Dove nominations and appearances on several TV shows performing her music. As you can imagine, after spending most of her teen years in the spotlight--literally--Lampa decided to take a few years away from extensive touring in 2006 after her contract with Word Records came to a close. As time went on though, with what seemed like an endless hiatus, longtime fans wondered if Rachael Lampa was ever going to make a comeback to the Christian music scene.
Truth be told, Rachael never actually stopped making music. Not publicly anyway. As a matter of fact, in the five years she spent out of the limelight, she was in the breeding ground of writing what become her best work to date. Having moved from Nashville to Los Angels, come into adulthood, dabbled around in acting, married singer/songwriter Brendan McCarthy and moved BACK to Nashville, all the changes in her life were the perfect source of material for Rachael’s notoriously creative spirit.
“If there is anything that I’ve learned in the past 10 years, it is to slow down and enjoy the day that I am living in,“ Rachael says in a short autobiography of herself on her website, “To be present and available to God and life and opportunities.”
In 2011, to the exceeding delight of fans, Rachael’s transparent creativity finally took flight once more with her long-awaited project, All We Need.
The album starts off with the title track, “All We Need,” and is the perfect opening to what is sure to be a wonderfully introspective album. Right off the bat, you’re going to hear both vocal and lyrical maturity, and it doesn’t stop there, as the listener rolls right along into the album’s first single, “Remedy.” Hip-hop/pop inspired, it brings to mind some of Rachael’s earlier work, and showcases her well-known ability to be a musical chameleon, being able to bounce from style to style flawlessly.
The eye-opening “Savior’s Face,” talks about how we as humanity are all the same in our broken nature and need for a Savior. “Beauty’s Just A Word” speaks of the lessons we can take out of the painful moments in life, which are ultimately allowed for our own good. The jazz infused “No Escape” is sure to stay stuck in your head with it’s irresistible melody, while “Uncharted Territory,” encourages the listener to take risks and not be afraid to go after what they’ve been called to do.
“Elevate” might be the most inspiring song on the record, although similar to the message found on the previous song, it talks about not letting standards hold you back from all your meant to become. The club infectious “My One And Only” is a catchy love song about that one person who will always have our back, and is surely going to become a fan favorite.
An unexpected but well executed cover of Taio Cruz’s “Run To You” makes an appearance on the album, and transitions nicely into “Feel,” which brings to mind Rachel’s previous statement about taking life one day at a time. It’s a beautiful song about learning to embrace every moment in life, including the ones that hurt.
Two bonus songs on the album include the inclusion of “Human,” a duet with Johnny Lang which appeared on a Rachael’s quietly released Human EP back in 2010, and a 2011 re-make to one of Rachael’s biggest smash hits, “Live For You.” It’s a treat to hear the song featured on this album, rebirthed for a new a generation to hear, and it brings this album to a fun and worshipful ending.
2011 has been an absolutely incredible year for pop music in the CCM market with no signs of slowing down. Among a list of numerous albums not to be missed, Rachael’s Lampa’s All We Need is one of them. This is without a doubt Christian music’s biggest comeback of 2011 and has certainly been well worth the wait. Not only will decade long fans of the singer be thrilled with all of the new material, but newer fans will also be immediately drawn in by Rachael’s unique style and raw passion--raw definitely being a key word on this album. Lyrically, this is Rachael’s most mature and solid work to date, and it will be exciting to hear how her creativity continues to grow as her life continues to change.
I certainly hope we won’t see another five year gap between albums. Rachael Lampa has been one of the most sorely missed voices in the industry, and I speak for many when I say: it’s a treat to have her back.
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