A Courageous New Chapter
Posted April 12, 2018
By MaryNikkel_NRT, Staff Reviewer
What You Need to Know:
Jen Ledger has spent ten years building impressive skills behind the drum kit for Skillet, the best-selling Christian rock band of our time. In addition to her energetic drumming, Jen has become an essential vocal complement to John Cooper with her pure, soaring tone. Fans have clamored for years for that voice to take center stage, and with newly launched solo project LEDGER's eponymous debut EP, they're finally getting exactly what they've asked for.
What it Sounds Like:.
Listeners who know much about Jen Ledger's musical history might go into this project expecting either a decaf Skillet or else a straight-up worship project. The LEDGER EP is neither, claiming instead its own unique musical niche characterized by rock elements, sparkling synths and the most dynamic vocals we've ever heard from Jen. This is true pop rock like we have rarely heard in recent years. "Iconic" features a shimmering falsetto that is practically chill-inducing. "Warrior" shows off the strength of the lower end of Jen's register; John Cooper makes an appearance here, providing a familiar vocal pairing, but Jen carries the song so well on her own that it could have easily foregone the feature. "Ruins" is the only true ballad on the project, juxtaposing crystal clear vocals with emotionally stirring piano anchoring the instrumentation.
A consistent theme throughout the six songs found on LEDGER EP is courage: courage to own your identity in Jesus regardless of anxiety ("Not Dead Yet"), courage to live in our divine calling ("Bold"), courage to allow God to completely ruin us for the ordinary pursuits of the world ("Ruins," "Foreigner"). The songwriting is rich and frequently poetic, as we've heard from the lead single "Not Dead Yet:" "I'm not dead yet, so watch me burn / Go on trying, lying, you're so sure / I may be broken, but I'm not done."
Best Song on the Record:
"Not Dead Yet" showcases everything that makes this project work with its bold lyrical heart, soaring melody and urgent instrumentation. "Ruins" and "Iconic" come in as a tie for second, both exemplifying very different sides of Jen Ledger's abilities.
For Fans Of:
Skillet, Lacey Sturm, Carmen Justice
With the advent of LEDGER, new levels of Jen Ledger's piercing vocal talent are uncovered, while courageous lyrics make this one of the most faith-affirming releases of the year so far.
Listen on Spotify and iTunes.
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