Posted April 21, 2014
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Fierce, female independent darling Beckah Shae returns with her seventh and most passionate project this spring, Champion. The album, produced by Beckah's husband and well known remix master Jack "Shoc" Shocklee, follows a successful Kickstarter campaign that saw the duo soar past their initial goal and surpass it impressively. Don't be fooled by her indie status, friends. While Shae may be one of Christian music's more overlooked artists, what she lacks in overall exposure, she more than makes up for in a mighty group of loyal listeners.
In fact, it was those very fans she set out to encourage upon embarking on this recording process. Champion is more than a clever title; it sums up Beckah's current ministry mindset, which is to encourage believers to run the race set before them with confidence, knowing that in Christ, they are already overcomers.
The title track "Champion" sets the unshakeable tone of the album, and also displays a maturation in her already solid sonic baseline, throwing in some intense dubstep elements courtesy of Shocklee's electronic pop genius.
Both "Incorruptible" and "Turbo Style" were singles released to radio earlier in 2013, but both finally find their home among the 11 other solid cuts on this record. "Incorruptible" boasts one of the fattest and most pulsating beats Beckah has released to date, while the latter of the two will instantaneously inspire you with a burst of melodic adrenaline. (Older fans may also be slightly reminded of a certain "flashdancer" back in the 1980s...)
While she's never been one to shy away from star power on her records, this is the first time Beckah has invited the likes of some well-knowns into the studio to collaborate. The Lyrical Assassin himself T-Bone makes an appearance on "My All," while CCM pioneer Crystal Lewis offers her ever powerful vocals on "Legacy."
"Jericho," featuring worship leader extraordinaire Israel Houghton, is one of the standout tracks on the project. An innovate blend of passionate worship links hands with some turntables to create a one-of-a-kind worship experience.
"Heartbeat" is my favorite track on the album, pulling out some massive drum sounds and pairing them alongside Shae's unique vocal quirks. It also showcases some of the most empowering lyrics you'll find here: "Where warriors have fallen, there's a resurrection coming / It's your time to rise and shine / Oh, rise up you sleeping giant."
Beckah Shae is one of the most innovative and original artists in our industry. Among the few voices who tapped into the art of EDM before it was a mainstream music trend, Champion reaffirms all the reasons why Shae and her husband are masters at their craft. Popular pulsating club beats are meshed with Beckah's own brand of thick, sonic richness, sure to please both longtime listeners and fans of this chart-dominating style of music.
On the lyrical front, you are met with straight scriptural truths that are often pulled directly from the pages themselves, making this yet another set of appointing songs that are sure to leave spirits raised and pulses racing. A 15-track monster of an album, Champion doesn't disappoint.
Song To Download Now:
"Heartbeat" (Get it on iTunes here.)
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