Release Date: July 8th 2012
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Nikki Fletcher- All Glory (Amazon mp3/iTunes)
Australian born and Sydney raised Nikki Fletcher, and her husband Jonathan, moved to London, England in 2008, following a prompting from God; and has never looked back since. Now the worship leader for Worship Central in Holy Trinity Brompton, has released her debut EP, via Kingsway Music. With a lyrical richness and a passionate heart for Jesus that I have not heard in such depth since fellow British singer Vicky Beeching; Nikki has brilliantly crafted 6 tracks, along with producer Nathan Nockels that is sure to grab the attention of many worship leaders- tracks like “All Glory” and “Wait For You” is sure to receive radio airplay all over the world in time! With a vertical focus on Jesus; these 6 tracks are the heart and soul of Nikki, and about her journey from Sydney to London and everything in between and associated with that spiritually, emotionally and mentally. While this EP may be short in number; as is the case with Katie Gustafson’s EP, which released earlier this month; Nikki has dived in and proclaimed her stance from the get-go, which is a commendable notion. With co-writes from Tim Hughes and Martin Smith, from Delirious?; Nikki is sure to gain a rapid fan base as “All Glory” climbs up the UK charts. She sure has won over at least one heart in Australia!
Starting off is the spontaneous-like track “River Flow”. With a big booming drum beat throughout and a stadium anthemic feel through the use of driving electric guitars and simple vertical worship to Jesus ‘…we cry out, river flow, river flow…’; Nikki has delivered a superb album opener that is electric in nature! There truly is a Holy Spirit anointing on this song, and I can imagine Nikki or someone from Passion belting the chorus out from a live theatre or arena ‘…open heaven, flood our hearts; grace and mercy from above; Father hear us as we cry out…river flow…’. With catchy claps as percussion littered in this gem of a song; the bar is raised for the rest of the 5 tracks; and Nikki doesn’t fail to deliver!
“Worlds Collide” and “Draw Me Close” are next before the halfway mark. Both are slower stripped down ballad worship tunes, unlike the frenetic energised opener. “World’s Collide” gives Nikki a chance to explore her vibrant and expansive vocal range; and this uplifting and haunting track is the perfect song for Nikki to shine. Complete with an orchestra and a steady crescendo as Nikki boldly declares in the bridge ‘…Hallelujah, now the dead in me is raised, hallelujah, I am free of all my chains, Hallelujah, Jesus worthy of all praise…’ followed by a choir and the introduction of the purposeful electric guitar; “Worlds Collide” is merely conformation that Nikki’s rise in the UK and hopefully the US will be a matter of time- she truly is a talented singer! A gorgeous piano riff starts off “Draw Me Close”, a potential radio single and a vulnerable track of surrender to God as Nikki cries out ‘…in my weakness I will come; You are greater, you are strong, by Your grace I’ll overcome; You are Jesus, You are God…’. Such a powerful tune that could rival the ‘other’ “Draw Me Close”; by the end of song three, that ended perfectly with a crescendo, a choir and a symphonic sound; I am completely enthralled and lost in the worship of this Aussie-British singer. Well done Nikki!
The resounding opinion I have formed of Nikki in the first half of this mini-album is strengthened even further on the remaining songs. “You Are What I Need” is a testimonial ballad against a backdrop of haunting rich piano riffs. With Nikki’s voice once again dominating with such a sublime quality; the grandiose nature and towering effect of the song comes into full force as the orchestra chimes into the song during the middle. Though mostly acoustic in nature, I can’t help but feel refreshed after this four minute surrender piece, as Nikki proclaims to Jesus ‘…You are what I need…and nothing else can fill my soul, no greater love than yours alone, and nothing else can make it whole; I’ll lose my life to find my soul…’. What better way to show God’s greatness and majesty!
The final two tracks “Wait For You”, and the Martin Smith and Tim Hughes co written “All Glory”, both previously on Worship Central’s album Spirit Break Out, are my favourites. These studio versions do have a nice touch to them; with added flair and layered instruments creating a soaking paradise for worshipping Jesus. With lyrics like ‘…I will wait for You, I will wait for You; let my heart be still for You our God…’ (“Wait For You”), and ‘…lift Him higher, he is mighty, lift Him higher, He is God…’ (“All Glory”); there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that Nikki is a talented songwriter and worship leader, and as long as God keep lacing songs on her heart; I will gladly and readily listen and take note of her forthcoming albums! Musically the last two songs are the pinnacle of the album- Nikki has saved the best for last! With resounding and reverbing keys throughout the honest and moving and ballad, followed by a crescendo and an spontaneous like bridge full of guitar strums and stirring solos (“Wait For You”); and a majestic blend of powerful vocals with the prominent use of the electric guitar to give the radio single feel (“All Glory”) has me smiling! This is a truly slick and professional masterpiece! Bring on album #2!
Rarely have I praised an album so much in my entire repertoire of albums I have reviewed. But Nikki Fletcher’s mini-album All Glory deserves all the praise and accolades I have given above! A worthy competitor and release amongst high profile worship albums in 2012 such as Where I Find You (Kari Jobe), The Same Love (Paul Baloche), Into The Glorious (Christy Nockels), Center of It All (Desperation Band) and White Flag (Passion); Nikki’s label debut stands tall and firm. A contender for new artist of the year at the Dove Awards next year; Nikki has evoked many emotions within me for the 6 track roller coaster. An album that you do not want to end is a good indicator of a 5 star album or close to it; and Nikki has achieved that and more! Hats off to Kingsway; you have signed a talent that will be a force to be reckoned with in the many years to come!
- River Flow
- Worlds Collide
- Draw Me Close
- You Are What I Need
- Wait for You
- All Glory
Favourite Tracks: River Flow, World’s Collide, Wait For You, All Glory