Nashville Life Music
Here for Jesus
Integrity Music (release date: July 17, 2020)
By Bob Marovich
Nashville Life Music follows up last year’s Taylor House Sessions EP with even more delightful selections on its debut full-length album, Here for Jesus.
Nashville Life Music is a young multicultural choir/group out of Nashville Life Church, a congregation led by husband-and-wife team Alvin Love and multi award-winning gospel singer CeCe Winans Love. In its diversity and musical architecture, the troupe reflects the church’s mission. It offers hope that amity is not only preferable and possible, but is actually happening.
This polished group of singers possesses an impeccable sense of timing and delivery. They deliver CCM tunefulness with gospel vocal and instrumental techniques. In its melodies, chord changes, arrangements, and song compositions, the album is refreshingly different.
One of the top selections, “Sing a Song (Part 2),” is the sister of the EP cut of the same title. It’s a sunny and tuneful praise song that asks listeners to find “one thing that God has done for you,” knowing there are actually many good things from which to choose. Shimmering strings are anchored by a percussive rhythm section and rap interludes from Aaron Cole.
Another keeper is “Shepherd.” Leeland Mooring gives this song, based loosely on Psalm 23, a heartwarming performance that evokes Jonathan McReynolds and DOE, modern-day purveyors of Israel Houghton’s more than two-decades old revolution in worship music. An ensemble piece, “Reconciler” helps Christians lost “at a crossroads in life” to find their way back when “God could not have felt farther away.” It’s a throwback to Jesus People psychedelia but with a modern patina.
The spirit of Andrae Crouch looms large over “In a Little While.” A bracing ‘70s rock-soul vibe supports group members as they cast their collective gaze to the return of Jesus. “I’ve Got a Reason,” another song with Crouch in its DNA, is the most gospel-rooted cut on the album. It gets a soulful reading by Chaunda Jefferson.
Dwight Johnson leads “Available,” a prayerful bid for discipleship. It has a musical theater sensibility, as if plucked from a Lin-Manuel Miranda production.
Solid production keeps everything balanced without becoming overpowering. Sacred music geared toward millennials that will also appeal to other generations, Here for Jesus is earnest, ever-changing, and enriching.
Five of Five Stars
Picks: “Sing a Song (Part 2),” “Shepherd,” “I’ve Got a Reason”