Release Date: March 26th 2012
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Britt Nicole- Gold (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
3 years since Britt’s 2009 ‘The Lost Get Found’ album, and I can tell you, ‘Gold’ is definitely worth the wait and does not disappoint. Since 2009′s ‘The Lost Get Found’ (the first Britt Nicole album I listened to), I instantly became a fan, and was in awe of her integrity, musical diversity and heart for ministry and her earnest focus on Jesus. Britt is one of Christian music’s successful role models for teenagers and young people, and now with the introduction, and probable success of ‘Gold’ in the Christian and mainstream markets, Britt Nicole is taking control of the female portion of the Christian music scene. With her latest effort, every song is pure ‘golden’; in my opinion, the best she’s ever recorded, and I hope Britt wins a few deserving Dove Awards in the future for this album.
Starting off with the title track, this catchy toe tapping dance track has a worthy message also. With Britt proclaiming that whatever we do doesn’t define our worth, but Jesus is our identity, ‘Gold’ packs a punch and gives the listeners a hefty topic to ponder, while also giving the arms and legs some exercise well. ‘…whatever you’ve been told, you’re worth more than gold, so hold your head up high, it’s your time to shine…’ ‘Gold’ is a great song to listen to, and even more impacting when you compare these words to Psalm 139, which tells the same idea, that we are worth more to God than anything. The rap in the bridge by Britt is also a welcome surprise, as is the profound and utterly true lyrics ‘…so don’t be ashamed to wear your crown, you’re a king, you’re a queen, inside and out…’. We are all heirs of God’s kingdom, sons and daughters of the Most High.
Following from the energetic opener is Britt’s salvation testimony ‘All This Time’. The first single of the album also, Britt vulnerably shares her story about how she became a Christian in the midst of her parents’ divorce. A song which will impact everyone, Britt picks off where she left with inspirational ballads ‘The Lost Get Found’ and ‘Walk on the Water’, showcasing a vibrant and unique singing voice. With different styles and tempos present in this song, what has impacted me most of all is the bridge ‘…I hear this people asking me, how do I know what I believe, well I’m not the same and that’s all the proof I need…’. When we are changed by God, the effect is instant, and we won’t even want to go back to life before. Guaranteed ‘All This Time’ will impact lives!
‘Look Like Love’ is next. Again using a quickened tempo in the verses, and slowing the pace down in the chorus, Britt uses this method in her favour, as she unashamedly sings about being the light in the darkened places, shining God’s love and presence wherever we go. Also depicting how ‘…It’s up to you and me to leave a legacy, if we’re all they ever see, I want to look like Love…’, it’s up to us to be a conduit of God’s love and fruits of the spirit. An inspirational track that has placed the ‘ball’ in our courts to actively make a difference, Britt slam dunks this song once again.
4th is ‘Who You Say You Are’, another encouraging ballad that Britt powerfully delivers, about trusting in who God is even though circumstances in our lives may seem that He is not in control. Rather on the contrary, God is God, and Britt reaffirms in this song that ‘…I know, I know, I know You are who You say You are, who You say You are; You are the One still standing when everything is falling apart, yeah You got my heart…’ A song of a re-dedication to Jesus, this is one of Britt’s strongest songs to date. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was on radio soon.
Britt pulls out all her bags of strengths, and goes for gold 100% in this album. Track 5 is no different with a surprise guest vocal by hip hop artist Lecrae, on the dance masterpiece ‘Ready or Not’. A song sung for the world and today’s society, Britt and Lecrae boldly proclaim ‘… Ready or not here I come, I’m about to show you where the Light comes from…I’m gonna take it all over the world, to the young to the old, every boy and girl…’. A song just as about evangelism as it is about not conforming to the views of this world (Romans 12:2); Lecrae also shines in the rap, singing that love is a ‘…noun and a verb and hidin’ it is absurd…’. What is also nice in this song is the homage to ‘The Lost Get Found’, can you pick the lyric? One of Britt’s best dance tracks, so far her songs never cease to amaze me.
Next up is the contemplative ‘Breakthrough’. Starting with synth, the song later crescendos to an anthemic chorus, and is about how Jesus can deliver us breakthroughs from fear, and any adversary in our lives. An invigorating touch to this song is some programming, it’s nice to see a different side of Britt than the dance tunes and the ballad tunes. My favourite part of the song is the bridge, sounding like a remix as Britt pounds out the repetitive and challenging lyrics ‘… I can feel a breakthrough coming…’, which is true when Jesus is in our lives, a breakthrough could be right around the corner.
Now comes the latter half of the album, and it is filled with ballads, dance tracks and other motivational songs. ‘Stand’ is one of the ballads, and with Jason Ingram co writing, where can you go wrong? A song about how God will hold us when we are at the end of our rope, and when we are afraid and feel as if we can’t go on, Britt and Jason expertly interweave this theme and the truth of God into these lyrics ‘…when I feel like giving up, when my heart has hurt too much, feels like I’ve reached the end…I’ll stand, stand, stand…’ Because Jesus is the Rock and ‘…all other ground is sinking sand…’, we can confidently rely on Him to live and breathe. Another single in the works, Britt?
Jason Ingram lends his writing prowess for a 2nd track on the 8th song, the piano based ballad ‘The Sun is Rising’. Everything Jason pens turns into a magnificent song, and this collaboration with Britt is no exception. Singing about how God can turn even in the darkest of times into something good, Britt reminds us that the sun does rise, and ‘… you’re gonna make it, the night can only last for so long…lift up your eyes and see, the sun is rising…’. An uplifting song to boost you spirits and remind you that God is with you and that He will never fail you, ‘The Sun is Rising’ segues into the very alternative ‘Amazing Life’.
Sounding very much like a dance track that Group 1 Crew would release, ‘Amazing Life’ comes from left field for me, however this track surprisingly works. Seeming like the song could rival any dance track in the mainstream market, what ‘Amazing Life’ does effectively is subtly mention God in the form of metaphors and imagery, particularly when Britt announces ‘…I’ll never understand it all, it must be supernatural…’, giving the listener something to think about, is this life all there is? The ever present dance beats and the synth also make this track easy to dance and move to.
‘Still That Girl’, is a piano based ballad directed at young girls, and is another highlight as Britt enhances her reputation of singing ballads, as she shines in this album singing ‘…you’re still that girl, and you’re gonna change the world…’. This song, for me, is applicable to everyone- when the world says you should be something other than who you are, God says ‘No I made you for a purpose, and you are unique!’ What a welcomed message by Britt in a world where conformity is celebrated, Britt’s song tells the listener to step out and be the somebody God wanted you to. A 5 star message Britt!
Wrapping up the album is the ballad co written with Jason Ingram ‘Seeing for the First Time’ which is about having an encounter with God like you are seeing Him and experiencing Him for the first time ‘…It’s like I’m seeing for the first time, like You opened my eyes, to show me everything I’ve missed before…’. With the lyrical content seeming like the song should be called ‘All This Time Part II’, and musically ‘Have Your Way Part II’, Britt provides an emotional rollercoaster that leaves me with tears in my eyes. How could you not love Britt’s voice after this song?
After listening to the goodness that is ‘Gold’ for 11 tracks, I found myself listening to the 2 bonus tracks that are found on iTunes. One track was ”Amazing Life (Capital Kings Remix)’ where the song was partly re done, and given an electronic feel, and more dance appropriate. However the real treasure is the best song on the album (yep, the entire album!)- the inspiring God perspective ballad ‘Straight for Your Heart’, co-written with Aaron Gillespie. Britt certainly leaves her best song for last as she sings from God’s point of view, about his plan for everyone that ‘…I’m coming straight for your heart, I’m bringing light to the dark, it’s gonna catch like a flame, everything’s about to change…’. What a majestic finish to an impressive album by Britt!
What can I say to close up? This album has left me literally with no words. Britt’s album is hands down more mature, lyrically and musically sound than her two previous albums combined (and her 2007 and 2009 albums were of high quality too!). Britt’s heart and message of our identity in Jesus is well evident in these 13 tracks. Dan Muckala, David Garcia, Christopher Stevens and Josh Crosby have produced a stellar album that, in my opinion, could rival Kutless’ ‘Believer’ or Audrey Assad’s ‘Heart’ as my personal favourite pop album thus far this year. Well done Britt! I wonder what her 4th album will sound like? But what I’m sure is I can hardly wait for whatever comes next from this young role model for teenagers.
- Gold (2:58)
- All This Time (3:26)
- Look Like Love (3:31)
- Who You Say You Are (4:11)
- Ready or Not (3:01)
- Breakthrough (3:12)
- Stand (3:39)
- The Sun Is Rising (4:26)
- Amazing Life (3:33)
- Still That Girl (4:26)
- Seeing For The First Time (4:01)
- (Bonus) Amazing Life (Capital Kings Remix) (3:08)
- (Bonus) Straight For Your Heart (4:40)
Favourite Tracks: Gold, All This Time, Who You Say You Are, Ready Or Not, Stand, The Sun Is Rising, Seeing For the First Time, Straight For Your Heart