If you are a regular listener of Christian radio, then you've undoubtedly heard of new artist Jordan St. Cyr, or one of his three advance singles. If not, think of the inspirational pop stylings of artists like MercyMe, Brandon Heath, Tenth Avenue North, or Jeremy Camp. In fact, the amount of radio success before a debut full-length album and the quality of his first offering aligns him closest to Heath and Camp, the latter of which he'll be joining on tour this year.
In his own words, this first album is a reminder that "No matter what our current reality is, we can know with assurance that the present-working power of Jesus is with us every step of the way. My prayer is that these songs would bring comfort and joy to those who hear them. I pray that listeners would be more hopeful and open to the depths of God's love for them knowing that their circumstances are not a reflection of how God feels about them. Rather, that their circumstances would reveal the closeness and nearness of the Holy Spirit."
Highlights on his self-titled album certainly include the singles "Fires," "Weary Traveler," and "Grateful," but like any good-to-great album as a whole, the deeper cuts also have much to offer for consideration. Let's start with the singles and the lyrical exhortation first. The opening verse of "Fires" was particularly moving to me as he sings vulnerably, "I remember how You told me/That life may not be easy/And everything that I need/You've already given me/I remember how You told me/I can trust You completely/So why am I doubting/When You proved that You'd fight for me?" This earnest question is followed with a resolute declaration, "You've walked me through fires/Pulled me from flames/If You're in this with me/I won't be afraid." It's a reminder that believers, especially in times of struggle and doubt, need to cling to, and Jordan convincingly calls us to remember the track record of our good God. The second single, "Weary Traveler," takes a similar approach with the encouragement to keep going (and not try to do so alone) in the chorus, "Weary traveler, restless soul/You were never meant to walk this road alone/It'll all be worth it so just hold on/Weary traveler, you won't be weary long." Lastly, "Grateful" utilizes upbeat pop production, a la Brandon Heath, to point us from jealousy to gratitude, stating compellingly in the bridge, "Let every gift you give/Point me back to the heart of the Giver." Other highlights are the excellently contrasting catchiness of music and lyrics on "Good Pain," the vibrant "My Defender," and the tender string-assisted closer, "Let Go, Let God."
Refreshingly, while there are plenty of highlights to find for fans of radio-ready pop, there is also a laudable lack of criticism that can be levied upon the album. Specifically, if you are a fan of the genre, as there is much to esteem and enjoy with repeat listens. Aside from a few songs coming off sounding similar in musicality and an isolated lyric that amused me by their lack of reality ("before my feet hit the floor/let my knees hit the ground" seems like an actual rough transition, though I understand the sought-for sentiment), this truly is a solid pop record. Those in search of uplifting, up-tempo, and encouraging pop music need look no further.
Jordan St. Cyr is a self-proclaimed "Husband. Father of two boys and two girls. Singer. Songwriter. Storyteller. Sharer of God's Word." All in all, it appears that with his self-titled introduction that he's just getting started, and given the impact and quality of the start, it wouldn't surprise if Mr. St. Cyr is around to stay.- Review date: 3/2/22, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: BEC Recordings
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