Made Whole by His love
Posted April 03, 2014
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
If you like the singer-songwriters Sara Groves, Audrey Assad, Nichole Nordeman and Ginny Owens, you probably like female singers who have an enjoyable, sweet vocal style and make catchy, worshipful songs that make you think. Drawing from that influential pool of strong female songwriters, Jessa Anderson's music reflects a wrestling with the unknown and daily struggles alongside catchy and worshipful refrains.
Her last release Not Myself Anymore was one of the most captivating albums I've ever heard, and one of my Top 5 Albums of 2011. Jessa's albums are also great for fans of mainstream pop singer-songwriters like Kate Voegele, Taylor Swift and Colbie Caillat. Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Jessa returns with her independent offering, Whole, available everywhere April 8.
The opening track and lead single, “Idols,” is an engaging song with Jessa's passionate vocals setting the tone for this solid effort as each song asks and answers the question of what makes us “whole” with ten stand-out tracks. “Idols” opens with the confessional lyrics," I am so like a bird in flight, I try to build my home, I set my eyes on anything that shines and tells me it will make me whole, I stack the walls surrounding me with promises and pretty things, But when I see what winter brings, I fly." The reflective opener has a super-catchy musical vibe and is a wonderful prayer-song about finding regular strength and courage in God's faithful kindness and listening to His still small voice. Every song is a great reminder for followers of Jesus wrestling with doubts and trying to live out their faith.
My new favorite Jessa Anderson song is “Giving Your Heart Away.” She released an amazing music video, highlighted by great production, introspective lyrics and of course, Jessa's great singing. Jessa's an artist in every sense of the word. I'm captivated by how her new song moves me emotionally and connects me spiritually to the truth behind the song. Check out the music video here.
The relationship songs “Stay,” “Caught me by Surprise,” and “Breakdown” each poignantly provide a portrayal of the “crazy cycle” dynamic of marriage addressing the disappointments and dissatisfactions that we face in a relationship that can only be held together by God’s grace. All of the songs capture the importance of compromise and asking for forgiveness, while expressing gratitude.
“Everything” establishes a prayerful flow with the lyrics—“This is grace, nothing that I could make but that You took my place, To conquer sin and shame, and to return our hearts to You for whom we're made, And when I think about all You've done, Jesus I am overcome.” Psalm 92:4 (NLT) connects to the song and album: “You thrill me, LORD, with all You have done for me! I sing for joy because of what You have done.” Jessa brings home the infectious message of the song in the bridge, “Perfect Son of God, how You love us, how You love us, So thank You for the blood that has covered and reclaimed us, To restore us, to remake us.”
I can't get enough of the upbeat “Fireflies”-like song of commitment to Christ, “Never the Same.” I sing along with the piercing words: "More than a little bit, this passion overwhelms, My very soul within and I’ve got to let it out, I want to make You known with every breath in my lungs, Until there’s nothing more, until the work is done.” You’ll feel the emotion so poignantly expressed by Jessa as she passionately cries out: “Your love has overcome the deepest of my needs and I could never quite express the way that You’ve changed me now, but I will do my best, yes I will do my best.”
Jessa’s vocals and heartfelt sincerity in many of the songs including “Whole” cause me to hang on every word she brilliantly sings. Jessa trusts in the Lord throughout the emotional ballad thanking Jesus for giving us what we don’t deserve and for paving the way for righteousness. She pours her heart out in every single song which allows listeners to hear her expressing her deep feelings, insecurities, and desire to be “whole” directly to God. I really enjoy how this album tells the story of redemption as each song displays how Jessa offers her Psalm-like prayers to God.
If you are looking for the words to express your feelings to God, these songs are a wonderful companion. These are the most honest, vulnerable and moving songs I've heard in a while. If you like the indie-pop style "gourmet" singer-songwriters Kate Voegele, Ingrid Michaelson, and Audrey Assad, you need to check out Jessa Anderson. This entire album is loaded with relatable lyrics, incredible singing and prayerful themes about what it means to be a child of God. Musically, the album features a great mix of confessional ballads and singer-songwriter pop music. Give Whole a few deep listens and you'll love it. I hang on every single word and the stirring vocals, prayerful lyrics and musical arrangements are breath-taking. Jessa has written and sung an exceptional set of songs that deal with the identity struggle we all face of knowing that as children of God we are made in His image and we are made “whole” by His love.
Song to download first:
“Giving Your Heart Away”
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