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Friday, October 8, 2010

Jimmy Needham Nightlights Review

Jimmy Needham… who’s he? Before we get into that let me point out how into hip hop I am; very!!! There’s just no other way to put it, (I hope I haven’t turned off anyone). Still that doesn’t hinder me from enjoying other genres of music including rock, alternative and a little R&B. so in relation to Mr Needham, a break from all the punch lines kicks, snares and head nodding is often necessary. He’s a songwriter/singer who I believe makes God proud just like David back in the day. He’s got three albums (as far as I know), was on Trip Lee’s album Between Two Worlds and has been on a WOW compilation cd. Nice pedigree huh? His most recent album’s just a reflection of all that, undoubtedly one of the best albums ever made.
Funny as this might sound; I only came across him and his music thanks to my association with rap. It all started when I saw a twitter post where Trip Lee made reference to him and I took interest went searching and found his song “Lost at Sea” on the WOW 2007 cd and that was it. I dug deeper for other projects and I was rewarded one day when my brother walked into the house one day with his latest album Nightlights. So why make so much of a fuss over him and music? Well, he’s a singer that’s as theologically sound as the deepest rappers we love and respect! Nightlights represent maturity and a sort of peak in what is an already impressive resume for Jimmy. With some well-crafted and beautiful songs, a wonderful voice and the boldness to experiment with a lot of genres, Nightlights presents itself as a must have. Each ballad is unique in itself and yet connected to the rest of the album. From the first song “Moving to Zion” a beautiful ballad about the journey of our Faith using Israel after Egypt as an analogy down to the last track “Nightlights” a beautiful Spoken Word piece each song is on point, touching on just the right themes. On “Part the Clouds” Jimmy urges us Christians to stop our lukewarm approach to witnessing to the unsaved, on the lovely “Light of Day” he sings to his “better half” with love and plans to stay in God’s plans for both of them. “Miss a Thing” exalts god’s omniscience and one of the best songs on the album “Being Small” is a prayer of humility asking God to cut us to size whenever we get “swollen heads” asking a very simple question; “Why I wanna be a hurricane when I'm barely a breeze? Cause I've already seen your storm bring me down to my knees...Whenever I climb too high, keep my feet on the ground and when I get full of me, turn me upside down...If it's you that's getting bigger, I don't mind, being small...So maybe I should step on down, hand off the King's crown to the God on the throne". Some serious food for thought right there…
This guy is obviously gifted but pulling this sort of thing again and again (three times in a row check out his discography) with such humbling yet encouraging consistency is nothing short of God’s doing. I had to get up to speed by getting his previous albums “Speak” and “Not without Love” and I kept asking myself what planet I had been on all these years. If you have done the same please do and I pray you get blessed as I was (and still am) by all you’ll hear and learn…

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