Usually the third time's the charm, but for ZOEgirl, the second time is absolutely the best. The three girls of ZOEgirl - Chrissy Conway, Alisa Girard, and Kristin Swinford - have really outdone themselves with their sophomore record, Life. Riddled with dance-pop tunes, heart-felt ballads, and plenty of "extras," Life is certainly making waves in the Christian music industry.
From the moment Life begins and the drum loops start to kick in, you know you're in for a musical fiesta. "With All of My Heart" starts things out with a pumped-up feel that lasts throughout the duration of the album. Almost a pop-worship song, "With All of My Heart" really expresses what ZOEgirl is all about: worshipping Jesus. "Even If" cranks the beat up another notch to give us a dance track you can't help but move to. One of the best songs on the album, "Dismissed" shakes things down with more of that dance-pop ZOEgirl is known for.
Singing of the God who is waiting for each of us to come to Him, "Waiting" slows down the pace a bit with some almost-misplaced drum loops. "R U Sure About That?" plucks out Beethoven's "Fur Elise" on a guitar and talks about guys, girls, and truth. Don't get quick to skip to the next song, because if you stick it out to the end of "R U Sure About That?," you'll get a little bonus you might not have been expecting: a little "studio talk" and intro to "Ordinary Day," the next track up. "Ordinary Day" brings back that quick moving sound to deliver another great song.
"Plain," already a radio hit, is a moving song that might just leave you in tears by the end. Softer and slower pop, "Plain" is definitely one of, if not, the best song on the album. Speaking especially to this generation, the song reminds the listener that God has created each one of us as a precious treasure no matter what others say and no matter what we think about ourselves. Strange and interesting, "Nick of Time" brings a moody feel to normal pop. Abandoning the traditional ZOEgirl sound, "Forever 17" is a tender song with piano and strings.
"Here and Now," another highlight and radio hit, gives us a pop-rock feel with electric guitars mixed with those drum loops. The song reminds us to stand together and live for Jesus with all we have. Not exactly the greatest close to an otherwise wonderful record, "The Truth" drags. Another slow-pop song, it doesn't really fit in with the rest of the album, and reminds me of "Constantly" from ZOEgirl's self-titled debut record. At the end of the song, again, don't go away. Another little "extra" has the girls of ZOEgirl laying out the plan of salvation with the help of the ABC's. A: Admit that you are a sinner and that you need a Savior. B: Believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. C: Confess your sins and commit your life to Him. D: Don.t wait until tomorrow.
Lyrically and musically strong, Life has some of the best stuff we've seen from ZOEgirl so far. From funky dance-pop to tender and heart-wrenching songs, it really can't get much better than this.- Review date: 4/8/03, written by Shaun Stevenson
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