Posted October 23, 2008
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
New Zealand native Brooke Fraser, the writer and singer of Hillsong Unitedís Hosanna, Lead Me To The Cross and None But Jesus is my clear cut top new female Christian singer in the last 2 years. Her vocals are so great you can get lost in just listening to her sing, but that is a bonus as the songs on Albertine have some of the strongest lyrics of the year. Brooke's songwriting is deep and challenging like Sara Groves and fellow CCM newcomer Joy Whitlock and her voice is stunning like CCM stand-out singers Christy Nockels (Watermark), Tiffany Arbuckle-Lee (Plumb) and Canadian singer Sarah McLachlan, whom are all my favorite female singer-songwriters.
Opening track Shadowfeet is one of my favorite songs of the year, both musically and lyrically and really showcases Brooke's excellent singing voice. The bridge "You make all things new" will have you singing along in worship. First single Deciphering Me is a nice upbeat love song and very introspective. Love Is Waiting is beautiful and biblical and will certainly be used at weddings. The title song Albertine is named for an orphan in Rwanda with whom Brooke has a special bond. The lyrics and music are stunning on the song in particular this stanza: "Now that I have seen, I am responsible, Faith without deeds is dead, Now that I have held you, In my own arms, I cannot let go `til you are". Some other stand-out songs are Faithful, Hosea's Wife and Hymn. A song I keep coming back to is C.S. Lewis Song, an amazing ballad with a tribute to the Christian author's Screwtape Letters, which includes these challenging words: "There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way". Brooke writes and sings these amazing lyrics in the bridge of C.S. Lewis Song: "For we, we are not long here, Our time is but a breath, So we better breathe it, And I, I was made to live, I was made to love, I was made to know You". WOW! Absolutely amazing.
Brooke's album is almost perfect and is worthy of award consideration, and she is my choice for best new artist 2008.
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