1 Girl Nation made a splash in the CCM market in 2013 with their self-titled debut album on Reunion Records. At the time, the group had five members. They are now a trio: Carmen from Nashville, Kayli from Orlando, and Lauryn from Birmingham, Alabama. Former group member Lindsey provides additional vocals on 1GN’s new album UNITE (2016, Reunion). On the group’s official website you will find the following: “As 1GN, we are about more than music. Our mission is to encourage each other to guard our hearts, to protect our lives online, to overcome hate with love, and to live boldly for Christ. Haters gonna hate, but Jesus taught us to love them anyway. Above all else, GUARD YOUR HEART”.
‘Get Hype’ starts things off. It is a peppy pop song meant to rally 1GN’s fans: “Are you ready, ready, set, go/Get up, get loud, tell everyone you know/Round the world, from left to right/Are you ready?/It starts tonight.../Every time we hear that beat drop, we can’t stop/My girls, we got this on lock, are you with us, say what/Put up your 1’s, lift ‘em up to the sun/Everybody jump, look alive while we’re young”. ‘The One’ speaks of the Lord’s everlasting faithfulness: “How could I forget?/You’re the One, the One/Who’s always by my side/You’re the One (2X)/For me, You gave Your life/You’re the One/Jesus, You’re the One, the One/You are my, You are my first love”.
‘Cinema’ is an R&B song of reflection: “Some days up like they’re magic, then some down like Titanic/I can be frozen, tangled, and broken/But You show me a whole new world.../If my life was a cinema, what would my story tell?/Would the tickets sell?/Were You in the frame?/If my life was a cinema/Did You play the lead?/Were You directing me?/Did I bring You fame?” ‘Guard Your Heart’ is an adult contemporary ballad of encouragement: “Maybe you feel all alone like something’s missing/And all of your friends have found their prince charming/Believe me, I get it/You’re so tempted to settle or give up on love/But it’s in God’s timing/You can’t rush it, don’t believe you are not enough/Know your worth ‘cause you are precious/More than gold, more than diamonds/Be the light inside the dark/Keep your faith and guard your heart”.
‘#Nofilter’ is a catchy pop song about self-esteem, with rap breaks: “This is, this is me, this is me, no filter/Me and my girls when we wanna take a selfie/Gotta hold the camera at the right angle perfectly/Which filter, which pose, black and white, how’s my nose?.../I think this has gone too far/I just want you to see my heart.../We’re beautiful the way we are/God’s masterpiece is in our scars (2X)”. ‘Haters’ offers advice on how young gals should deal with those who treat them badly: “Haters gonna hate/Love ‘em anyway/No matter what they say/Love ‘em anyway.../You be you/If you got haters/That ain’t nothing new/Even Jesus had haters/Just like you”.
‘Panic’ is a ballad that finds the group ultimately putting their trust in God: “Though the sky falls and the winds rage/Your power can’t be tamed/In the shadows, through the valley/I will not be afraid/I will not stay down, no/I know You’re here now/I won’t freak out/Don’t panic now, don’t panic”. ‘Impossible’ is a light pop song of great positivity: “Can’t’s not a word that I’m sayin’/Quit’s not a word that I use/Finally I’m living like I won’t lose, I won’t lose/Anytime I reach out for a star/You make me understand/You’re holding every one of them/So I ‘m reaching for Your hand/I used to say that the sky was the limit/But You’ve opened my eyes to what’s really true/My dreams can happen as long as You’re in it/Cause there is no, there is no/Impossible with You, You, no”.
‘Smile’ is a folksy pop song that encourages us to witness for Christ: “Sing if you believe/Shout for the victory/Dance ‘cause we are free/Free indeed, free indeed/Don’t be ashamed/Don’t let it hide/Cause Jesus came and paid the price/Show the world He’s alive.../We’re His hands and His feet/When we walk down the street/Do they see Jesus/Everywhere that you go/Every high, every low/Do they see Jesus/Through the words that you speak/Everybody you meet/Do they see Jesus when they see you smile”. Closing the album off is the title track, ‘Unite’. It is a pop song that asks girls and young ladies to unite and make a positive stand for Jesus Christ: “C’mon we gotta stand for what we know is true/With His love inside/No, we can’t lose/Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith/We’ve got a voice, make some noise/Let’s shake this place.../Different faces, different names/We’re different, but we’re all the same/It’s time to let ‘em know/Let’s show the world tonight/Let’s unite.../You and I/U-N-I-T-E/You and I/Let’s break the hate”.
On UNITE, 1GN shares their zeal, enthusiasm, and fervor for the Lord in a way teen girls and ladies into their twenties in some cases, will be able to relate to. Topics explored include social media pressures and wanting to find the right guy. This album is not meant to be a deep theological treatise, but is rather, a guide to facing everyday life challenges with the Lord by one’s side. If you enjoy the Christian pop music of Superchick, V. Rose, and Zoegirl, you’ll most likely find something to like here. I’m rating UNITE, which runs just shy of 31 minutes, 85%. For more info visit the group on Facebook and at www.1gnofficial.com.