Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Rebecca St James|
If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something
Genres: Pop, Christian
From the early days of her career when an energetic teen-aged Rebecca St. James burst on the Christian music market, she defied conventional wisdom. The voice was unlike any other, the music sported styles from classical t... more »
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From the early days of her career when an energetic teen-aged Rebecca St. James burst on the Christian music market, she defied conventional wisdom. The voice was unlike any other, the music sported styles from classical to 80?s new wave to techno-pop, and the net effect was like a breath of fresh air to casual listeners and fans alike. After a worship- focused release and extensive touring, this likeable Aussie is back with her best effort to date: If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something. The overall mood is transparent, open, and a revealing set of songs that chronicle the highs and lows of a woman embracing her faith. "God Help Me" is a great starter, a dark and smoldering rocker with a sense of urgency and RSJ sings "I?m running out of time to live/Running out of love to give/Running out of life within/God help me." "Shadowlands" and "Alive" also are lively, rock-tinged tracks showing she has plenty of spunk left. Ms. St. James also shifts gears smoothly to a more reflective, quieter mood on "I Need You" and "Forgive Me," the latter featuring nice supporting vocals from Barlowgirl. Another highlight is the magnificent worship cover of Hillsong United?s "Take All Of Me" as RSJ?s powerful vocals soar like an eagle above the richly orchestrated music. The diversity that flavors this release is noteworthy, but don?t call Ms. St. James a chameleon. A chameleon changes its colors to suit the environment. No, this is an artist who wears a coat of many colors and on If I Had those colors shine brighter than ever before. --Michael Lyttle
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Debbie A. from VALLEY FALLS, NY
Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
Her best release yet
"If I Had Once Chance...", It is to Tell You This is a GREAT
Susan Prince | Humboldt, TN United States | 01/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rebecca St. James is a veteran of the Christian music scene with a couple of gold records, a Grammy Award, numerous prestigious titles including "Favorite Female Artist" named by CCM magazine and "Best Female Artist of 2005" at Campus Life Magazine, and a recipient of Christian Music's highest honor, the Dove Award. She is a spokesperson for sexual purity and a respected author as well. These are amazing accomplishments for one at the ripe old age of 28 and yet she says "I'm not called to be a star...God has called me to be a servant."
St. James recently released "If I Had One Chance to Tell You Something" (11/22/05). The last CD with original material from St. James goes way back to "Transform", released in 2000. There have been a couple of worship CDs along the way and a greatest hits package, and some tracks found on various compilations CDs, but at last we have something new and original. "If I Had One Chance..." is well worth the wait.
Filled with solid, scripture-backed lyrics, (a St. James trademark), and strong music that is thoughtfully produced, this CD is destined to help add to St. James collections of awards.
This CD was touted before its release as a return to the "rock-style of her "God" album", and that was welcome news to this reviewer. After numerous listenings, I would say that yes, it captures some of the raw rock edge of the "God" album, but more so, it is a combination of that raw rock sound St. James burst onto the CCM scene with almost ten years ago and the mature symphonic-layered, melodic hooks that made her "Pray" CD a stand-out. It is loaded with powerful, heart piercing lyrics that explore the extravagant, deep and passionate love that God has for us.
"God Help Me" kick starts the album with a raw edged guitar and keyboard mix driven by a bass line that puts an exclamation point on each line of the chorus, "God Help Me!" The steady 2 and 4 drumming keeps the song rocking along until the bridge when St. James, the singer, is left sounding almost vulnerable, crying out to God to help her, with a simple and quiet line from the keyboard. There is a gradual build from that point adding cymbal, guitar, cello and full band carrying the cry for help to end the track.
This well balanced CD contains more guitar driven tracks such as "Alive", "You Are Loved" (which took me back to "I'll Carry You" from her "Pray" album), "Love Being Loved by You", "Beautiful Stranger", and "I Can Trust You". These are songs that get the blood pumping and the volume turned up! "Shadowlands" is a tune that waltzes along in 6/8 time with a very melodic line from the lead guitar that lifts the main vocal melody and holds it up high, as if lifting up an offering, a thank you for the hope God always provides to those who love him.
"I Need You" is introduced with symphonic stringed instruments that segue nicely into the poetic and melodic, and at times, breathy heart song to God. With help from Tobymac on "Thank You", St. James sings over a funky, bass driven beat accented with rhythm guitar. I find this tune a bit repetitive and one of the very few lowlights on "If I Had One Chance..."
"Take All of Me" starts with sustained chords on the keyboard over which St. James sings her breathy prayer. The drums then pick it up and the song is birthed into unapologetic rock anthem of a worship song as she professes her unashamed love for Jesus Christ.
Tour mates Barlow Girl lend vocal support and blended harmonies to "Forgive Me", a piano ballad with floating string arrangements accompanying the melody that draw on the deepest emotion of a hurting soul. The last track, "Lest I Forget", keeps a haunting slow beat and soft chords that support a simple melody. This song crescendos, or builds, to a climax and ends with the signature St. James whisper, an encouragement to always remember how good God has been to us.
This CD is well worth the wait. St. James gets credit for her hand in penning all but one song on this, possibly her best, CD. The amazing talent and spiritual maturity, of this young woman, including her joys and vulnerabilities, is laid right out for world to listen to and embrace. A complete album in that it offers lyrics grounded in scripture and personal experience that are well presented through excellent music. It has a raw rock edge, as well as polished ballads that serve to touch the emotional center in all of us. Great to listen to while driving with the windows rolled down and the music cranked up, and yet, one can also curl up in a warm blanket and worship the Lord through heart prayers spawned through the quiet and personal songs St. James shares.
Easily her best ever
Music Lover | USA | 12/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Rebecca St. James has spent most of the past four years enjoying her success of "Wait For Me" with a book, greatest hits album etc...I have to admit I wondered what her next release would be like. Did she get lazy or was the extra time spent making her next album going to make it better than ever? The answer is easily: it's better than ever.
Each song on this cd is stout and solid and ready to be enjoyed. I can't pick out a favorite as each song I thoroughly enjoy. This cd will make a great gift for every Christian music fan on your Christmas shopping list as well as a great gift for a birthday and a great gift for yourself. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying this cd! I plan on getting this cd for people on my Christmas list as I know they'll enjoy it. I'm going to buy it from my local Christian bookstore however as I want to support local Christian organizations."