Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Christian
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 05/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes, Christian music glosses over the struggles in life. And, while I still enjoy those songs, I occasionally want more. That's why this debut CD was such a breath of fresh air.Nichole Nordeman doesn't shy away from the struggles and pain in life. I knew I'd found someone who will face life realistically when she admitted in the opening song that she shares common ground with Doubting Tomas. Of course, that confession comes in a prayer "To Know You" better. "Who You Are" follows a similar theme or wanting to know who God truly is with all the ambiguity thrown in. "To Say Thanks" is another honest admission, this one admitting that it's not always easy to give thanks in everything like we are told to do in the Bible.Also included are prayers for God to perfect her. My favorite of these is the ballad "River God." It paints such a vivid picture of God smoothing us as He sees fit.And "Anyway" and "I Wish the Same for You" just reflect on the amazing grace and love God has given us.With three CD's now, Nichole has proven that she has a sharp pen for writing what is in her heart in new and refreshing ways. I highly recommend any of her CD's for a challenging reflection of your walk with God."
The Christian Life
slcampbe | Birmingham, AL, USA | 04/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot express how deeply Nichole Nordeman has touched my life by releasing this album. All of the songs are extremely soul searching, making you want to reexamine why you are a Christian, and exactly what that means. I must say that I loved it when I bought it, but it did not completely move me until I saw her in concert. It was just her and that Magical Piano, and her telling us all why she wrote each and every song. My favorite is "To Say Thanks." This song is about how God doesn't always lead us out of the "Storms of Life," because he wants us to grow in Him. How it's so hard to say thanks to Him for allowing us to go through this gut-wrenching experience. When you here this song, think of the poem "Footprints in the Sand." Also, at her concert, Nichole played a few other songs, and trust me, if she puts them on this new album, expect God to convict you again. When she was finished, there wasn't a dry eye in the whole church. Thank you Nichole for giving us all an album from your heart, and from your experiences. Because in one way or another, they are all our experiences too."
The Christian Walk's Dark Side...
Crini River | 11/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is by far the darkest Christian album I have ever heard. It is also one of the ablums with the deepest thoughts. I bought this album when it first came out and have listened to it very much ever since. From the moment I heard Nichole's first song, "To Know You," I knew I had to get her album.
Much of this album focuses on the mystery of God, talks about our striving to do right in the midst of humanness, and asks the tough questions such as "Why me? Why this storm?"
I can't say anything more without reviewing the songs themselves...
"To Know You" opens the album and sets the theme. It talks about our striving and searching to know and understand God in the midst of doubt. We've all been there, whether we admit it or not. Nichole writes with stark honesty and vulnerability--something more Christians should possess.
The album continues into the title track, where Nichole raises two crucial questions: "Have we forgotton that even the pagan, unsaved, 'sinners' and supposedly ludirous people are created in the image of God and He died for them, too and loves them... just as much as He loves us?" and the second one, a more hard-hitting one: "What would we have done had we been there when Jesus walked the earth and proclaimed to be the Son of God? Would we have believed Him? Or would we have laughed at and scorned Him like so many did?" These are questions we don't want to face or have to answer. But they need to be asked.
"Who You Are" is almost a continuation of "To Know You" that focuses a little more on the mystery of God. Instead of human doubt, the song focuses on human simplification of the awesome power of our Creator. We could never fully explain the omnipotence of God, nor could our human minds conceive all that He is, and yet we try to know everything about Him when there is "so much more You."
"Anyway" switches things up a little bit. Using a metaphor of dusty old paintings being restored, Nichole describes how God loved us even the midst of our sins and cleansed us, used us, and displayed us for His glory.
"I Wish the Same for You" gives our minds a rest for a few minutes and concentrates on a more surface-level topic. It's more up-beat and "happy sounding" than the previous tracks. The song unfolds like a letter to an unbeliever. It hopes that each and everyone could come to know the saving love of Christ and stop searching and fearing the unknown. I like this one a little less than the rest, but it's still very good.
"Is it Any Wonder" goes a level deeper. The song describes pop society's pressures placed on males (money, success) and females (outside beauty and form). No one is going to find what they're looking for in these things, and giving into these expectations can actually destroy a person's life. The "love that can't be glamourized" and "hope that won't be downsized" are the only things that can fill an empty soul. This song has a very unique and even strange melody, piano line, and beat to it, almost rock-sounding, but it's very catchy.
"Burnin'" talks about the refining power God uses during our trials. Nichole confesses to attempting to avoid the "fires" of this life and play it safe. These trials can and will hurt us. They will be hard. But this is where we find God. (side note: this was probably my least favorite song on this CD. I thought it was slow and kind of boring. But with each listen, I came to not only enjoy the theology of it, but also its slow 'jazz club' feel. Now it is one of my favorite songs on the CD and one I often skip to)
"Gone Are the Days" is more along the lines of "I Wish the Same." It talks about ceasing to run and fight, and, instead, surrendering to God's love and power. Like "I Wish," this one's a little less enjoyable than the rest but it's still catchy, with a lighter beat, and challenges listeners to stop resisting and just give in. Also, this song showcases Nichole's very wide vocal range with incredibly low notes, but a couple relatively high ones as well.
One of the songs I have been able to identify with the most on this record is "To Say Thanks." Nichole uses more of her respectable honesty and vulnerability and asks the "why's." This song talks about the storms of life, and how, even though we know of God's sovereignty, it gets so hard to appreciate it because we DON'T understand why we're going through them. It not only expresses a lack of understanding, but also frustration and even anger: "I'm shaking a fist in the dark/and I'm asking why, why, why, why." Also, the song expresses the inability to decipher which trials are from God and which temptations are from Satan: "And I cannot pretend/to know the difference/between the storms you send/and those I find" I've played and sung this song when I've been going through a hard time, because I am feeling everything that is expressed in this song. Nichole is so honest in this song about human misunderstanding, frailty and faults, which is so admirable from a Christian artist.
The close-er, "River God," is a beautiful piano ballad. Along the same topical lines as "Burnin'" this song compares us to stones in a cold mountain river and how God uses tests and trials to mold us, removing our "edges" of character defects and making us "smoother" and more spiritually mature. Excellent way to close the album.
Nichole's debut is by far the BEST debut album I've ever heard. It's amazing that this was her first album. It is, by far, one of her best and one of the top Christian albums ever. Nichole's songwriting and analogies are pitch-perfect. She neglects the sugar-coated, "everything's perfect as a Christian" topic that all too often dominates Christian music today, and dives deeper.
'Wide Eyed' is an excellent record that examines the mystery and the darker side of a Christian's life. New Christians need to hear this album to know that the Christian life is not going to be a cakewalk.