Music Review by Luchae Williams
I have been a Christy Nockels fan since 2013 when I heard her rendition of the Chris Tomlin/Martin Smith anthem, “Waiting here for you,” from the Passion 2011 album. I was immediately struck by the depth in her voice (and boy does she have a set of pipes!) and quickly got hold of the Passion 2013 album to hear more. That album hosts one of my favorite Christy Nockels songs called “My delight is in You”, where she goes off into the bridge of an old Hillsong classic, “Purify my heart.” I was immediately a fan!
Born and raised in Texas, Nockels is a singer and songwriter of note and has been leading worship since 1993 when she and hubby, musician Nathan Nockels, began serving as worship leaders in their local church in Oklahoma City. The pair also lead the Christian band Watermark, signed under Michael W Smiths label. Smith has said of Watermark, “Christy Nockels creates space for worship like few artists I’ve been around. When she sings, it’s disarming–you must pay attention. Whether it’s 10,000 people at a Passion Conference or an intimate gathering, Christy is a worshiper who leads us all. Nathan and Christy Nockels are a huge part of the Rocketown Records story, and my life has been enriched by their love for worship music.”
In 1997 they were invited to attend the first Passion Conference in Austin, Texas and the rest is musical history. Nockels is a regular feature at the Passion Gatherings where she co-leads worship alongside the likes of Chris Tomlin, David Crowder and Matt Redman.
I loved her second album titled “Into the glorious” which was released in 2012, with husband Nathan as her producer. So needless to say I was quite thrilled to hear her latest offering titled “Let it be Jesus”, which is what I will be reviewing today. She shared her heart about the album, which was recorded at Passion City Family Church in Atlanta, Georgia: “I can’t wait to release this offering and to share what a beautiful night this recording was as we gathered with dear friends and our Passion City Church family. Something SO unforgettable happened as we worshipped Jesus together in wonder and remembrance.”
The album starts off with a happy mandolin strumming away in the uptempo opening track ‘Freedom song’. I think that this is the perfect album opener. It has a bright, pleasant melody and lyric that speaks about Jesus being our freedom… which is certainly a truth that I enjoy singing about.
The second song is called ‘My anchor’ – a worship song that is sung directly to God, telling Him that He is our anchor and shelter in the storm. This track also recently featured on “Even so come”, the Passion 2015 album. Another song I appreciate is ‘Everything is mine in You’ — a percussion driven ballad that speaks about all the promises we have in Jesus. It’s one of those songs that has a melody that makes you want to hear what the lyric is speaking about. I also quite like the hook — very congregational.
Title track ‘Let it be Jesus’ is a heart cry that has the potential to make its rounds on Sunday morning set lists. I was especially moved when Nockels so beautifully sings “For me to live is Christ/God I bring your name above everything/Let it be, let it be/My Jesus”. This song has the same potency as her previous tracks (such as the famous “Waiting here for you”) and can actually be found on the Passion 2014 offering, “Take it all.”
Other stunning worship songs are “Find me at the feet of Jesus” and “The wondrous cross”. It’s evident that the calling on this lady’s life is to worship and to lead others to a place of intimacy and knowledge of the Father.
One of my favorites on this album is called ‘If you never’. It is an uptempo, folksy, praise song that so poetically says “If you never do another thing for me/It will always be enough that you set me free/Always be enough that you gave your life/Jesus you are mine!” I love that! This song is guaranteed to have you singing along because the beauty in that truth is enough to make your heart burst!
Another must listen is Nockels’ rendition of ‘Jesus, Rock of Ages’ – an old school hymn that speaks about Jesus being our rock. Christy’s vocals pair gorgeously with the lyric and she does not push herself to do vocal acrobatics or belt out power notes. Instead, she takes her time with the song, singing each sentence as if it is coming right from her heart.
This album is filled with Biblical truths, beautiful composition and the stunning vocals of a worship leader doing what she has been called to do. I think that it is the perfect follow-up to Nockels’ previous offerings and will be a beautiful addition to any worshipers collection!