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Label: Loula Street Music

Release Date: June 26, 2020

Rating: 95%

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Rocker Jodi Essex has pulled together a collection of ten great tracks and readied a new disc to drop June 26 2020, after peppering her fans and an unsuspecting audience with one each month since the beginning of the year.  Disc opener “Stand Up” is one of those tracks released to preview the disc and in speaks to the rocker in all of us, but with a different message.  Jodi’s unapologetic faith-based approach to music is woven into the lyrics without sacrificing the rock quotient of the song.  The guitars are loud and on point while the rhythm section anchors the track under her vocals.  “Soar” dials the energy down, but ever so slightly, allowing you to dig into the emotionally delivered lyrics.  The guitar work on the bridge is great and really drives the track between verses and choruses.  The song has a contagious tempo that gets the foot tapping and chorus gets you singing along.  “What Is Your Truth?” is the most recent of songs launched.  The song takes on a power ballad-like feel when the first verse hits, but make no mistake, the power in this track lay in the vocals and lyrics.  The song is self-reflective and empowering at the same time.  This introspective song dares you to dig deep, which is something needed these days.  “Fighter” takes over with a driving groove and uplifting rock sound that sees Essex taking her rock and roll serious while keeping her belief and faith in check and engaged.  The breakneck pace of the rhythm section is exciting and keeps the song flowing while providing a slightly different feel than most of the tracks on the disc.  “All Right” starts off and sounds as if it was ripped from the Bryan Adams songbook in 1983… and that’s a good thing.  The rhythm section sets the pace and bar for the track and the guitars follow suit, while Jodi allows her vocals to fly above the mix, especially on the chorus.  This song is one that I go back to time and time again when listening to the disc.

Title track and debut single “Irreverent” comes at you from the opening note and draws you in.  The killer cadence drives the track, but the real star of this track in the lead vocal.  Essex drives the track with a spirited vocal that shows her digging deep for the energy and delivery required to push the lyrics of the song.  “Symphony” seems to dial back the energy and intensity, but that is simply a matter of the sonic touch.  Jodi’s vocal delivery and lyrical content are as intense as any on the collection, but with a mellower approach to the delivery.  The song provides a great break from the rock and roll before we dig into more great tracks.  “Weightless” is an amazing song that relies on Essex’s vocals for most of the track.  The musical component kicks in on the chorus, but strength rests in the verses that give the vocals room to soar.  The ebb and flow of the tracks energy between verse, chorus, and bridge – which features a cool guitar solo – exemplifies everything that is right about this track and disc.  “Someone Somewhere” has some cool acoustic guitars on the intro and verse that give the song a different texture when held up against others here, but make no mistake, the song morphs slightly and has all the energy of the rest of the disc.  Even without all the heavy rock components, this one gets the foot tapping; I can picture a venue full of lighters and cellphones in the air as this one plays through.  Disc closer “Rearview Mirror” isn’t what I expected from the disc, but it is a solid track.  I was waiting for a rocker took us out as strong as the collection started.  What I got what a song that shine bright thanks to the vocals and features some cool guitar work hidden in the mix and shining on the bridge while the drums and bass set the foundation for the track.  Drop your preconceived notions of Christian rock at the door and enjoy about 45 minutes of great rock that just may speak to you in more than one way… I know it did me.

Tracklisting: Stand Up – Soar – Irreverent – What Is Your Truth? – Symphony – Fighter – Weightless – All Right – Someone Somewhere – Rearview Mirror






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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