Sunday, March 04, 2012
DO I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?
'Suitcases' is a great pop song. Of it, she says: "This song is my encouragement to us all to let go of the baggage of the past." Some of the lyrics are: "How can you move when they're weighing you down?/What can you do when you're tied to the ground, yeah?/You carry your burdens, heavy like gravity/Just let them go now, there's freedom in release/You can't run when you're holding suitcases/It's a new day, throw away your mistakes/And open up your heart, lay down your guard/You don't have to be afraid." The title track is a toe-tapper that includes the use of trumpet and saxophone. It is about being fixated on the Lord: "You got my attention now/You captured me/You got my attention now/I can't take my eyes off of You/You're the One I need/You've stolen my affection/You got a hold of my heart/I'm so caught up/Nothing compares to how beautiful You are/So I'm givin' all of me to You/Cause no one loves me like You do." 'Unreachable' offers hope to the sinner: "You're not too far away/You can't fall too far to save/Sounds unbelievable, but you're not unreachable/Just take the hand of grace/Your sins have been replaced/By something beautiful, you're not unreachable/You've been waiting to be rescued from your shame/But He was there, before you called His name."
'What Love Looks Like' slows things down and has the impossible task of describing love: "It's losing yourself and/Discovering the truth/More than a feeling/Your love is living proof/The only thing that gives me any hope/Knowing I'll never be alone/That's what love looks like/Words fail to say/Just what love looks like/When you give your heart away/It takes you in, holds you close/Never lets you go/So picture all the best things in life/That's what love looks like." 'Free' is one of three songs written solely by Dara. It has Christian pop radio written all over it and speaks of God's goodness: "I was caged in, then You opened/Every door that held me bound and You gave me the key/No more pressure I can just breathe/The girl I tried so hard to be, has always been me/My strength alone will never be enough/But Your arms keep lifting me up." 'Yours Forever' is a song of intimacy with God: "I'm with You/You're right beside me/I feel You near/Right here to guide me/I'm with You/You're right beside me/To guide me home/Thank You for finding me when You did/You changed my life, now I believe/That love is all that I'll ever need/I promise my heart and all that I am/I'm Yours forever my Love."
'Nothin' You Won't Do' co-written with Ben Glover, declares God's love for each person on the planet and has a high energy chorus: "There You go (2X)/Doing what You do/Chasing me, lovin' me/You ain't afraid to/Move the universe, just to prove/Yeah, that if I was/The only one/Here on the planet/You would still send Your Son/Cause You couldn't stand it/To see me anywhere but next to You/Ain't nothing that You won't do." 'The One' features keys by Tim Lauer, and is a declaration of faith: "I know You're the way/I know You're the risen One/Sent from above, to deliver us, in You we trust/I know You're the truth/I know You're the only One/You hold the key to this mystery, no more captivity/Jesus You're the One/You're the only One (2X)." 'Had to Be You' is a pleasant love song that could be addressed to God or a boyfriend: "I've been waiting all my life/Just to find/Someone like you/Love you caught me by surprise/One look and I/Just knew/It had to be you/No one else can love me like you do/Eternally I'm yours/You know it's true/Nothing in this world could ever/Change the meaning of forever/Me and you."
'So Good to Me' testifies to God's upright character: "Why would I ever worry?/Why would I ever live in fear?/I know my God is for me/There's a peace surpassing every single tear/His eye is on the sparrow/He's even livin' in the little things/I'm stickin' to the narrow/Cause His heart has captured me." Dara wrote 'Gratitude' with Ronnie Freeman who also contributes background vocals on the album. The song opens with these words of testimony: "I was in trouble and You rescued me/Torn to pieces now I'm complete/Fatherless till You called me Your own/No direction, till You showed me where to go." The album closes with a wonderful ballad about finding security in God. 'Home' was written with Paul Alan and utilizes cello, violin and viola. The lyrics include these words: "Still a fire burns, lighting up the room/I know You're here with me/You wrap me in Your arms/Like only You can do/I know You're all I need/With You, I'll always be/Home."
Her website says: "Just 25, she has forged a sound rooted in the '70s Motown, funk and soul her parents loved and filtered through a thoroughly contemporary urban pop lens." It also says she was influenced by Adele, Natasha Bedingfield, Ray LaMontagne, John Legend and Marc Broussard. I would also make vocal comparisons to fellow CCM artists Ayiesha Woods and Fracesca Battistelli. YOU GOT MY ATTENTION is a breath of fresh air in an oft stale musical environment. I'm rating it 90%. For more info visit http://www.daramaclean.com/ and http://www.wordlabelgroup.com/.