In the summer of 2000, Christian music fans across the nation began to hear Rachael Lampa pour out vocals that amazed them. With the hit single "Live For You" already on radio waves, I was wondering what the newest teenager in Christian music would have to offer when her debut album became available. Soon after its release, I picked up Rachael's Live For You, and really enjoyed what I heard.
The Middle-Eastern-sounding "Day of Freedom" reminds us we are all children of the faith because of Jesus' death on the cross. Only one of the many radio hits on the album, "Live For You" showcases Rachael's impressive voice with a little Latin-flavored pop. Gentle piano starts out "Always Be My Home," a highlight on this album.
"God Loves You" is an upbeat pop track with an almost too repetitive chorus: "God loves you/ You know it, you know it, you know it, you know it/ God loves you/ Forever, and ever and ever, ever." Penned by Ginny Owens and Cindy Morgan, "Blessed" carries Lampa's vocals to new heights as she sings this slower, Gospel-style song. "You Lift Me Up" brings us back to that fun, bubbly pop with a message of the joy that knowing Jesus gives us. Rachael sings the edgy "Shaken," featuring the background vocals of Nicole C. Mullen. An overview of the 'facts of eternity', "Shaken" is a fun one and has been on Christian radio nationwide.
The last four songs on the album begin to slow down the tone a bit. The piano-led "Free" reminds us that with Jesus Christ in our lives, we are truly free. The London Session Orchestra lends a hand in "Hide Me," another softly-spoken track really stretching Rachael Lampa, who comfortably hits the high notes. With a soft pop style, "Secret Place" reminds me of something you'd find on Jaci Velasquez's Heavenly Place album. The final track, "My Father's Heart" is a tender song expressing Rachael's love for God. A touching end to this delightful debut record.
On a limited release of Live For You, an enhanced portion of the disc contains four "insider" clips into the making of the album and into Rachael Lampa's personal life. While there aren't any music videos, the clips do fine and are interesting enough to keep our attention.
Live For You is a wonderful debut. While a little amateurish at points, the album fairs very well with incredible vocal performances and catchy tunes. Look forward to more great material from this talented young artist.- Review date: 4/10/03, written by Shaun Stevenson
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