Posted May 06, 2015
By MarkRyan_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In one of the most highly anticipated releases of the spring, Blanca shows us her solo skills on her self-titled debut, Blanca. The album combines hard hitting dance tracks which hearken back to the beginning of her career, tracks that will find their way onto CCM radio and worshipful songs that allow the listener to reflect on the goodness of God.
The album opens with the turn up anthem, "Different Drum." The drums hit hard and the song gives us something to shout out to be proud of being followers of the Creator and being different than the world that surrounds us. I can imagine the drumline in a live production of the song, this will be a popular track at festivals this summer.
Throughout the first third of the album the tracks go through topics of being in the world but not of it in "Different Drum," our identity in Christ in "Who I Am," being fearless and willing to follow God wherever He calls us in "If You Say Go," culminating in another hard hitting track, "Get Up" featuring Lecrae.
This song takes me back to what made me a fan of Blanca's early days as part of her previous group. It is a high-energy dance track. Blanca flexes both her vocal skills and her prowess on the mic as an emcee. This was the first track I heard from the album and I was pleased with the fact that Blanca was taking it back a little ways to something a little harder hitting and limit pushing.
The second portion of the album follows much the same formula as the first part. Four radio friendly songs concluding with another fight song. "Surrender" is self-explanatory in meaning. If I didn't know better as to what I was listening to I would mistake Blanca for Britt Nicole on this one. "Echo" follows a similar sound and could easily be sung by any of the current female CCM artists. The homogeny of this section of the album became lost on me as it felt as though I could have plugged in Francesca, Britt or Beckah Shae and had the same result. This second section ends with another fight song titled, "Not Backing Down" featuring Tedashii. The sound once again returns to a heavy dance feel and it contains a nice little dubstep drop in the bridge. The song has some really nice tempo changes and keeps the listener on their feet.
The final section of the album is a mixed bag. "Forever Love" is a love song that I could see getting popular at Christian weddings this summer. I give kudos for the SWV reference (because I'm a fan of '90s R&B), however, the use of the phrase "on-fleek" will date the song at this certain point in time.
I can only describe "Worry" as a nifty little ditty with its guitar and flute on verses and the horn section on the chorus. This is a perfect summer song, reminiscent of Jamie Grace's "Hold Me." Things get worshipful on "Greater Is He," with a return to the sound we have become familiar with on "Today." The album closes with "Chosen Ones." If I had to describe this song with one word it would be: positive. In a way it is a perfect bookend to the album opposite the opening track "Different Drum."
I was looking forward to this album, and there are a few tracks that will stay in rotation. This album will be a popular release this spring and will be a soundtrack for many this summer. It is an album that you will be able to turn up, turn the windows down and cruise down an open road. For me, though, it did not push the limits as far as I was hoping, but there's plenty here to love.
Song to Download Now:
"Not Backing Down" feat. Tedashii (Get it on iTunes here.)
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