JONATHAN NELSON “BETTER DAYS”

I’d been having one of “those days” for about a month when I got the decree of Better Days as issued by Jonathan Nelson and Purpose. If faith comes by hearing, God’s Word through the lyrics and melodies of this project has propelled me forward. I’m armed with the knowledge that better days are indeed already here.

I shouldn’t have to introduce anyone to Jonathan Nelson. You all know him. This Stellar Award Winning artist penned soul inspiring cuts like “Healed,” “My Name is Victory” and “The Struggle is Over.” Admittedly, I prefer live projects, so I definitely appreciated this offering. At first blush, if you look at the track list, you might see only ten songs and have cause for pause, like I did. But, take courage, beloved. :) There’s a little over an hour of music on this one, so there’s plenty to captivate your heart and motivate you to cop it.

Hands down, my favorites were the worship moments. “I am Your Song,” “Smile/Better Is One Day,” and “Draw Me Nearer/Agnus Dei/Smile” got my eyes off of myself and my trials and put them on Him. The strings were lovely on “I am Your Song” and truly gave me the sense that God’s finest symphony works on the inside of me. The passes of dissonance sustained with standard harmonies testify to God’s ability to give us just what we need, resolving everything in His own perfect time.  “Smile” is a metaphor that beams brightly. Wanting to make Him happy is what it’s all about! Sprinkling in well-known worship cuts with the reputation for slaying folks (“Better Is One Day,” “Draw Me Nearer,” and Agnus Dei”) was a great move. I think we can thank the Holy Spirit for that one!

Things started off bangin’ with “Better Days.” You know it’s hot when the message of a song resonates with you the entire day. “Better days are here/no more livin’ in a world of fear.” That’s exactly what I need looped in my heart all day long. The horns were crazy. I loved it! Get your Caribbean sway on as you wave your hands to “Cry Out.” When in doubt, cry out holy!

“Praise Saved My Life” snuck up on me! It’s got touches of N’awlins sass with a twist of funk and a side of soul at the exact right moments. After the sweetness of the worship tracks, it was testimony service time. The silky smooth vocals with skillful control from Nelson’s brother, Pastor Jason Nelson on “Another Way,” ushered in a churchy, reach back and think about the goodness of Jesus feel. Put your good shouting shoes on. I wasn’t quite ready to let this one go when it ended. “Expect the Great” continues to rock the airwaves, and rightfully so. Its upbeat flavor and great expectation reverberates with each rhythm and lyric. It’s not my favorite on the project, but I see why it remains in rotations across America. “Called To Be” is probably my least favorite track, but I can’t say that I don’t like it. By the time it got to the vamp, I was all in. And what do you say about any track that features Kierra ‘KiKi’ Sheard? The same thing you say to the Lord: Yes.

Jonathan’s more than capable background singers, Purpose, give us a solid performance with their balanced vocals throughout the entire project. Their blend, characterized with the appropriate balance of power and finesse, sparkles throughout the entire project. Their sound is the perfect vehicle for the messages Nelson crafts. With input from Grammy Award Winning Producer, Aaron Lindsey, and his own reflective, songwriting that bears evidence of a relationship with God, Jonathan Nelson has given us songs and affirmations we can sing to ourselves and to our Father. My rating system goes high, medium high, medium, medium low and low. I give this project a medium high because it lifts me up while lifting Him up as well! Go ahead and give this project DL (Download Love) stat!

Review by: Kristin Gregory @kiwirenee on Twitter