Most anyone who's heard the name Christy Nockels immediately brings the husband/wife duo Watermark to mind. Having signed to Rocketown Records, they released four successful albums over the course of six years, and after a greatest hits compilation in 2006, many assumed the Nockels couple was finished with music. However, feeling called back to music again, Christy has returned as a solo artist with a new label and aim, much to Watermark fans' delight.
With several exceptions, the songwriting mastery of Christy and her husband Nathan has returned. While a few covers are thrown in ("In Your Hands," "Marvelous Light," and "Hosanna"), listeners can otherwise expect the same lyrical content as Watermark possessed. While Nathan is ultimately "behind-the-scenes" at this time, Christy's vocals are at the top of her game. They are not necessarily very innovative, but they are passionate and very fitting of the backing music. The album begins and ends on a very worshipful note; songs like "Choose" and "Song Of The Beautiful" are pulled off in pure, unmistakable Watermark fashion and are by far the gems on the disc.
To be honest, tracks like "No Not One," "Life Light Up," "You Are Able," "Marvelous Light," and "Hosanna" seem to be the most lacking on the record, mostly because they tend to follow an AC format very different than the rest of the album. This tends to split the album into two major sections: the songs with acoustic pop leanings and the songs with a very blatant contemporary sound. Watermark always pulled off the former much more skillfully, and it's really a mystery why Nockels decided to pursue this other course in musical progression. Some listeners will recognize "No Not One" as the last track on Brandon Heath's record What If We (here, it's ironically the opening track), and they would also agree that his take on the track is much better performed.
Sixsteps made a wise decision in signing Nockels; its great to have talent like hers (and her husband's, for that matter) back in the industry. While the Watermark name has been left behind, and though there are a few hiccups along the way, Life Light Up is for the most part a rewarding listen and is a welcomed addition to the list of 2009's comeback artists.- Review date: 10/26/09, written by Roger Gelwicks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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