Offering an Alternative
Posted July 19, 2013
By JJFrancesco_NRT, Staff Reviewer
I won't profess to be an expert on the current mainstream pop market, but what I do hear is awfully discouraging. There seems to be an overabundance of both musical and lyrical garbage. That makes it exceptionally refreshing when a Christian artist offers a sound that is accessible to young people who may be drawn to secular pop while also being able to garner parental approval and offer some more healthy messages. Former Superchick singer Tricia is here with her first solo pop effort to give young girls just such a record.
Radiate hits all the right notes and has songs that can bring some fresh tunes to Christian pop radio, and even a few with crossover potential. Opening track "Everything As Loss" has "radio hit" written all over it. The song is a strong introduction to the record musically and lyrically it's got some draw also, as evidenced in the chorus: "What could hold a candle / what could come close / what could overshadow all you are? / Let my life prove that compared to what you finished on that cross / I count everything as loss."
The first half of the record continues the streak of positive electronic-beat pop hits. "Enough" and the title track are fast-paced standouts that could definitely give Tricia quite the launching pad for building up a following. "Good to be a Girl" and "Daughter of the King" are "girl" songs offering encouragement to young ladies. Ultimately, while the first half of the record is pretty safe and accessible, it's still solid and arguably does everything that it needs to.
"Love Will Not Let Go" slows things down (in a positive way) with a powerful and moving ballad. The piano-driven song reminds us of the endurance of love and is a definite album highlight. "Different" continues the pop trend of the first half of the record. In the standout lyric "you can't make a difference without being different" it offers an important truth for modern youth to learn.
"Adding Up To A Miracle" is one of the album's catchiest numbers, offering a terrific chorus with enormous hit potential. "Without You" is a strong ballad speaking of how aimless life is without Christ. There's no potential "Jesus or my significant other" interpretation to this one as the chorus turns this into an unashamed praise song.
"What I Know" is a worthy follow-up, offering a strong and emotional ballad. "Little Rose" is a touching bonus track, a loving lullaby to Tricia's young daughter.
Lyrically, the album treads territory covered by many before, but it still feels fresh and relevant to the issues that young girls face every day. It should definitely meet with the Christian parental "seal of approval" while still being relevant and catchy enough to appeal to its target audience.
With techno-pop beats that could rival anything on mainstream radio and solid, Christ-centered, encouraging messages relatable to the youth of today, Radiate is a worthy late-summer release that should meet with family-wide approval. While it's not offering anything that will shake up the state of the genre, it holds its own and presents well what is expected from a pop album. The album is overall a solid entry with several potential hits that could help establish Tricia's solo career as one to watch in the CCM scene.
Song to Download Now:
"Enough" (Get it on iTunes here
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