Sound — 10
Your first thoughts on playing this album will be: "is Rebecca St. James recording incognito?" No, I'm serious! Jodi King's melodic alto voice is very resemblant to Rebecca's. Two people thought two different Love & The Outcome songs were Rebecca songs. Chris Rademaker's (her husband) background vocals sound striking to Jon Steingard (Hawk Nelson) which is interesting because L&TO is also from Canada. A good mix of pop/rock in a variety of styles, ranging from the upbeat pop anthem "When We Love" to the more folksy, acoustic sound in "No Mistaking (It's You)" to the slow pop ballad "The Story You're Building in Me." A variety of instruments, including a lot of percussion and keyboards. I love the keyboard intro to "He Is With Us." And I would be crazy if I didn't mention the bass too, Chris plays the bass and does a very good job of it too.
Lyrics — 10
What happens when you combine a whole bunch of talented songwriters? A great album! More than just Jodi and Chris, this album also features the songwriting talents of Dave Barnes, Jason Ingram (One Sonic Society), Matt Hammitt (Sanctus Real), and Ed Cash (producer: Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Laura Story, etc.). The down-to-earth lyrics of all the songs are really powerful. Especially the moving lyrics of "The Story You're Building in Me"; a personal song with a widespread message. "Closer to You" is a profoundly simple, yet profoundly meaningful song: "every healing and heartbreak is bringing me closer to You." And I can't forget to mention "King of My Heart," it is true that "You are, bigger than any battle I'm facing and You are, bigger than anything I've been chasing, Savior and royalty, the only hope in me..." A perfect finale to the album is "What a Promise"; a reassurance of God's promises to us.
Overall Impression — 10
My Dad got this album for me because I was (and still am!) a crazy fan of the hit radio single "He Is With Us." I have loved every song on it and played it a ton of times. You could call me a biased reviewer; I love this type of music and my singing voice is very, very similar to Jodi's; but overall it is amazing. It's a very well produced, written, and recorded first album. I have other artists' first albums, but this one stands out. At least try to find some of the songs on YouTube, you just might get hooked!