By Carlos Solorzano
Upon hearing the first single I Will Not Be Moved on a local Christian radio station, I knew that I needed to get my hands on Natalie Grant’s latest CD. It has not been a disappointment. With the first single being a high energy song with a great melodic hook, I was thrilled to find out that she was far from done with these types of songs. There is also the shuffle-driven Make it Matter as well two straight but driving songs titled Perfect People and Wonderful Life, with each song having a distinctive groove that gives it a clear identity. Aside from the great grooves Natalie’s vocal performance showcases her ability to stay on top of the song with her vocals indeed leading the back up instruments rather than her keeping up with the band, which is typical of many popular vocalists today.
Natalie also has a collection of well written pop songs with great hooks and nice arrangements. The second single, In Better Hands, is just the first of many great radio friendly songs along with Let Go and So Long. These songs showcase Natalie’s diversity as a singer, as she has the ability to back off a bit and deliver a performance that is simplistic yet catchy.
Within the track list of great high-energy pop songs is the biggest and most pleasant surprise of the entire album, a collection of sensitive ballads with great sensitivity and strong emotion. These tracks not only give Natalie a chance to demonstrate her amazing vocal prowess but also offer the listener a chance to peak into the deepest part of her heart as she doesn’t merely perform the tracks but believes in what she is singing. Natalie uses her musical platform to remind us not only of the presence of God in all of our lives in Our Hope Endures and Safe but also the healing powers of Jesus Christ in Make a Way.
Relentless could also be subtitled Hope and Forgiveness, as the songs tackle themes that are geared toward Christians struggling in a secular world that doesn’t want to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Aside from topics such as perseverance and an awareness of God’s grace there are also themes such as self-forgiveness, especially when one needs to look past their pride and look to God with great confidence when they offer up their past sins as a response to God’s promise of redemption.
Aside from its Christian content Relentless has a high quality production and top notch performances by all of the musicians. It also demonstrates Natalie’s songwriting abilities as she wrote/co-wrote eight of the eleven songs with each song being a quality song. Relentless is a CD for all Christians as well as fans of great pop music as it has something for everyone.
Carlos is a professional drummer and songwriter from Southern Arizona. You can visit him at www.myspace.com/carlossolorzano