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Changing the Pop Game
Posted October 29, 2014
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer

With her sophomore release, Be the Change, Shuree returns with her positive, upbeat, gospel centered sound. The album is reminiscent of the likes of Mandisa and Francesca Battistelli, with a solid pop sound and catchy melodies that you find yourself humming for no apparent reason other than that they make you smile.

The album opens with "Be the Change." It is an upbeat song that would fit neatly as the closing credits to an American Girl movie. The message in the song is clear: God changed your heart, now let that change shine through and be the change in whatever the circumstance. Simple, effective and catchy, all the makings of a great radio song.

Shuree follows this up with "Superstars." It doesn't offer the secular worldview of being a superstar, but rather being God's superstars shining a light into the dark places. It is a clever turn of phrase that is refreshing in this genre. "Heartbeat" is about being in sync with God, how we need to make sure that the rhythm of God's love is moving in and through us, that we are moving in time with the Holy Spirit.

The album slows down with "Listen to Your Heart" which about listening to God's heart and not our own desires— a fitting complement to "Heartbeat." With "Louder Than Words," the sound turns from modern pop to Cyndi Lauper-esque 80s pop. The song is about the power of love, the one thing that speaks louder than words.

The up-tempo "Runaway" closes the album. This track features Manwell Reyes of Group 1 Crew and speaks to running from fear, shame and sin, being free in the freedom Christ has given each and everyone who chooses to believe in Him. It is a perfect call to action at the end of the album.

Closing Thoughts:
This album is positive, uplifting, fun and (most importantly) focused on God's power in our lives, unlike most pop music which focuses on our own ability to change our circumstance. This is a perfect album for the young lady in your life. I know I will be playing it on repeat for my daughters.

Song to Download Now:
"Runaway" (Get it on iTunes here.)

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