Music review by Luchae Williams
Contemporary Christian singer and songwriter, Nichole Nordeman, released her fifth studio album earlier this year. The album, titled Every Mile Mattered, is a collection of well-penned songs written in the storytelling style that Nordeman is well known for. T
The songbird is a highly-accoladed songwriter, nabbing the Songwriter of the Year spot at the 2003 Dove Awards. She was also awarded Female Vocalist of the Year, in 2003, 2006 and 2007.
After a 12 year hiatus, Every Mile Mattered serves as her re-introduction into the CCM industry, with no less than 11 faith-based songs. As always, she has somehow managed to pour gut-wrenching emotion, passion and poised lyric into one bowl and the result: a collection of songs that encompasses a journey of faith.
Title track, Every Mile Mattered, puts this into perspective. The track speaks about the beauty of having a testimony and she so eloquently puts it: “It’s history/You can’t rewrite it/You’re not meant to be trapped inside it/Every tear brought you here/Every sorrow gathered/Yeah, it’s history/And every mile mattered.”
The mid-tempo song, You’re Here, speaks about the intimacy and nearness of God. I was most moved when she sang the powerful bridge: “You were at the altar, preacher’s hand upon my head/You were in the water when I came up clean instead!”
Another wow moment was during power ballad, Dear Me, a song that paints a picture of her faith journey. The track is written in the form of a letter to her younger self, doubling as a cry to the church to keep things simple and to love without exception, the way Jesus does. It is deeply insightful and one to look out for.
The album is filled with these types of tender ballads. Other favorites are the piano and strings-driven Hush Hush and the emotive Lean, which speaks about surrendering and leaning on Jesus.
U2 fans will recognise her cover of the secular pop band’s hit, Beautiful Day. Nordeman offers us a subdued version, complete with whispered vocals, hushed harmonies and a mellow sound. As far as upbeat tracks go Listen To Your Life is the most interesting of the lot.
Album closer, Slow Down, features the singer’s young daughter, Pepper. The track has become quite popular on Youtube. It is a sentimental love letter to her children, as she watches them grow up.
Those who have become accustomed to Nichole Nordeman’s gentle way of telling a story through her music, will appreciate her latest offering. If you are a Nordeman newbie, the album’s pace may seem a bit slow, but would definitely make for easy listening after a long day at the office. I quite enjoyed my introduction to her music and will be keeping an ear out for more from her.