We have become familiar with her writing through the voices of Kari Jobe, Phillips Craig & Dean, Selah, NewSong, Trica Brock, Newsboys, Travis Cotrell, Rebecca St. James, Shane & Shane, and JJ Heller to name a few. Now, Jennie Lee Riddle, top five CCLI writer, two time dove winner, and author of worship anthems like "Revelation Song" and "When The Stars Burn Down" is opening up to share more of her heart and life with us.
PEOPLE & SONGSis Jennie’s most recent endeavor, and is the brand that is releasing Opus 1 Collective, the first album in a series of albums.
"It's a dream long in coming,” says Jennie. She calls herself a collector of people and is known for loving to network and promote those she believes in. It seems only natural then, that she would put together the fairly self-explanatory brand, People & Songs. For more information, visit www.peopleandsongs.com.
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Jennie Lee Riddle [People & Songs, Opus 1 Collective]| Posted April 30, 2012
Jennie Lee Riddle’s project People & Songs, Opus 1 Collective features twelve artists performing fifteen original songs written by three time Dove Award winner and author of the worship anthems “Revelation Song” and “When The Stars Burn Down.” We have become familiar with Jennie Lee Riddle’s songwriting through the voices of Kari Jobe, Phillips Craig & Dean, Selah, NewSong, Tricia Brock, Newsboys, Travis Cottrell, Rebecca St. James, Shane & Shane, and JJ Heller to name a few. Now, Jennie Lee Riddle is opening up to share more of her heart and life with us. Jennie founded New Nation Music out of a desire to write Scripture-based doctrine upon the heart and mind of the church. Motivated by a desire to cultivate unity and authentic respect in the family of God, New Nation Music Band travels throughout the churches inviting all age groups to join together to lift one voice as one Bride to One King. Visit http://www.peopleandsongs.com to discover more.
If you like the top five CCLI worship anthem, “Revelation Song,” then you’ll love this album which also includes a must hear version of Jennie singing her song along with her daughter Emily, which has been made famous by Kari Jobe. The song brings me to the Throne Room and Jennie’s tender and even tentative vocals remind listeners of the reverence of the biblical lyrics. Rather than write about every song, I’ll focus on my favorite new songs for the Church that Jennie has written for us to worship along with, “in Spirit and in Truth.” Opener “Waking Up The Dawn” features the album’s producer Michael Farren of Pocket Full of Rocks and sets the tone musically as these are stripped down Americana style musical arrangements that allow listeners to really focus on these vertical lyrics. Jason Walker of Know Hope Collective lends his vocal talent to another standout song, “Love Like This.” I absolutely love Jennie Lee Riddle’s songwriting and the beautiful and stirring worship song “When The Stars Burn Down” co-written with and sung by Jonathan Lee. The song has also been recorded by Phillips, Craig & Dean and Travis Cottrell. I really appreciate Jennie’s insight into the song especially as I sing along with the biblical truths throughout this song, especially the incredible lyrics: “There will come a day, standing face to face, In a moment we will be like Him, He will wipe our eyes dry, Take us up to His side, And forever we will be His, Singing blessing and honor, glory and power, forever to our God.” The song title says a lot, “when” not “if” the stars burn down. “When Love Was Slain” is my new favorite worship song and features the stunning vocals of newcomer Crystal Yates. This song moves me to reflect on just how much Jesus endured for His bride to purchase us from the grave. “When Love Was Slain” is about submitting to the Lordship of Jesus over our lives and acknowledging that “I am freedom’s slave.” The case of those that are the servants of sin is sad, but thanks be to God it is not hopeless. You can make the decision to admit you are a sinner, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and came to die as a sinless Savior on our behalf, and choose to make Him the Lord of your life. What a wonderful, loving and gracious God that we serve. I am so thankful to Jesus for saving me. John 8:36 says, “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” Amen to that!
There’s this emotion that the song “You Are My Shepherd” brings out even the first time you hear it. Jonathan Lee brings a vocal sincerity that wrecks me and this gorgeous song was also recorded by Tricia Brock. For me, I need that rescue and peace referenced in this beautiful song that comes from knowing that God is my Shepherd. No matter how lost we get, we can know that He is seeking us out, even when we feel lost, hurting and straying. He’s never lost us and He’ll find us. That brings peace when life isn’t easy. Standout songs “Glory Fall” featuring Crystal and Will Yates and “O Come Divine Messiah” featuring Robbie Seay keep the worshipful flow going right into another song which stops me in my tracks, “Broken For Love’s Sake” featuring Don Chaffer. Just like the other songs it has a tender and moving confession, “Should my heart break, when Love’s the only way, So be it Lord, may I be broken for Love’s sake.” Wow, what an incredible sentiment and sacrificial offering to our Savior Jesus. “From the time my pen hit paper, to this very second there was not a moment where you have not been lovingly thought of. This album contains everything I could want to say to you up to this point in my life and my (our) prayer is that You are made RICH with the knowledge of Christ and overflow with His goodness,” says Jennie Lee Riddle about her worship project.
CLOSING THOUGHTS This album grabs me with every song. Truly, every song is amazing. Jennie has a knack for hitting me where I am spiritually and expressing the prayerful yearnings of my heart. This album is no exception as I get welled up praying along with several of the songs and most of all, I am stirred with compassion to love people as Jesus loves us. That’s the heart behind this album, and thank you Jennie for blessing us with your music and for writing and singing the Truth of the Gospel for the Kingdom of God. This album soothes, moves and challenges listeners. People & Songs, Opus 1 Collective by Jennie Lee Riddle is a profound listening experience. I love her writing. It is so honest, and has lots of depth lyrically. It feels like at times as Christians we’re living on another planet and we’re fighting all the time. We all know why, because we weren’t made for this world. Writing and singing songs of worship aren’t always easy when things aren’t going well. We’re called to worship and we need to be obedient. We are dependent on God for every breath. A state of brokenness keeps us on our knees and helps us realize how much we need God. This five star worship album reminds me that “this world is not my home, this life is not my own, and soon Lord, O very soon, You’ll come to take me to be with You.” Choosing to worship when you don’t feel like it deepens your faith. Even in the midst of our greatest struggles, we need to find joy and peace from knowing God.This album reminds us that the pain of this world is temporary and to live for Heaven.
Riddle Me This Great Worship Experience| Posted April 21, 2012
Jennie Lee Riddle might not sound immediately familiar to you, but there is a good chance you’ve heard some of the famous tunes she written numerous times before.
Having her songs covered by artists such as Tricia Brock, Rebecca St James, NewSong, JJ Heller, Newsboys and Travis Cottrell, she garnered massive attention in the Christian music industry after Gateway Church covered her powerfully anathematic “Revelation Song” on their Living For You project back in 2006. Kari Jobe, who led the song on the album, later went on to record her own version of it, as did Philips, Craig and Dean, once again earning Jennie some notable songwriting credits as well as two GMA Dove Awards.
Ever since, Jennie has been one of the “go-to” worship songwriters of our day. Her spirit-filled lyrics and descriptive depictions of Christ are unlike anything the genre has seen in quite some time, so it should it come as no surprise that many of the artists in our industry today turn to her as a musical muse when it comes to recording their own projects.
Jennie started the New Nation Music ministry in 2009. It’s a family of sorts., Her husband and four children, accustomed to opening their home, added leaders Will and Crystal Yates to the fold in 2010. Jennie brought them on board from Florida right into the Riddle's Texas home. Together they travel through various areas all across the globe leading worship and teaching. Emily Riddle, 20 year old daughter was the first New Nation Music artist, followed by Crystal, both with albums produced out of the Riddle home. Both ladies are featured artists on Jennie's new project.
It certainly seems like life is anything but slowing down for the gifted songstress. Yet somewhere in the midst of writing, mentoring and raising her family, Jennie took some time out to record People & Songs: Opus 1, the first in a series of deeply-rooted worship albums Jennie has been dreaming up for years.
The idea of “People & Songs” takes on a personal meaning, seeing as the album invites 12 singer/songwriters Jennie has had the honor of writing with over the last few years, and having them come together to showcase their individual talents alongside Jennie’s masterful songwriting. The resulting project is an enhancing worship record sure to capture your attention.
“Waking Up The Dawn,” sung by producer Michael Farren, starts this album off on a folksy note with its back-porch county feel, and transitions into “Faithful,” offering much of the same stylistically. It’s a very organic sounding tune with much of the passion driven by the guest vocals of southern gospel artist, Don Poythress. Jennie notes that it's the most personal song on the record for herself personally, it paying homage to her Grandparents who were married for 60 years.
“Love Like This” changes things up by going in pop direction, once again offering personal heartfelt worship with male vocalist Jason Walker taking on the lead vocal duties. One of Jennie’s most popular songs, “When The Stars Burn Down,” covered by Rebecca St James, Travis Cottrell and more notability by Philips, Craig and Dean comes up next. Led mostly by vocalist Jonathan Lee, Jennie’s subtle background vocals on the front end make this a hard song to forget. Very powerful and moving.
“When Love Was Slain,” is sung alongside ministry partner Crystal Yates and serves as the most lyrically stirring song on the record. It talks of Jesus paying the ultimate sacrifice to save our lives, and how because of it, the life we live today is not our own, but His to keep.
“You Are My Shepherd,” a song made popular by Superchick’s Tricia Brock, is up next and is followed by the southern infused “Glory Fall,” featuring her New Nation family vocals. The beautiful “O Come Devine Messiah” is a modern take on one of the churches most beloved hymns and features a well-fitting guest spot by CCM vocalist, Robbie Seay of Robby Seay Band.
“Nothing’s Changed” comes as a refreshing shift, the song being the first on the project being sung in it’s entirety by Jennie herself. Her distinctively raw vocals set this song apart from the rest and is surely going to lead the listener into a personal moment of worship.
“From Jesus Side” and “Broken For Love’s Sake” both come as mainly acoustic driven tunes but offer up sweet songs of praise to our Creator. “The Pure Will See Our God” meets us once again with vocalist Jonathan Lee and becomes a yet another scripturally inspired song of worship.
“Can’t Get Enough Of You” is a beautifully intimate tune talking about the wonderful presence of our God, it being my favorite song on the record. Co-sung by artist Sarah Reeves and Jennie’s young daughter, up-and-coming musician Emily Riddle, I hope to see this become a song many worship teams adopt as their own: “You’ve made a way for me by Your blood, flowing like a fountain washing me clean, You’ve made a place for me in Your heart, covering me with love in the safety of Your arms.”
Jennie’s most covered work to date, “Revelation Song” is a welcomed treat to fans who’ve enjoyed the song for years. Wonderfully simplistic, it’s a privilege to hear this song it it’s original state. Jennie’s vocals send a chill down your spine and with the powerful addition of Emily Riddle on the second half, you’ll find yourself listening to this one many times in the future.
This impressive collection of unfiltered worship comes to a close with “Inescapable Day,” featuring one of the most beautiful string sections I’ve heard in a long time. The song can be almost seen as a prequel to “Revelation Song,” talking about the day when Christ finally comes back to claim the church. It’s a stunning way to end this album and I can see this song, much like its predecessor, going on to achieve a large amount of success.
Closing Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into this album. As a huge fan of Jennie Lee Riddle’s songwriting, I was excited to finally see her step into the spotlight and share her own take on some these songs, and just as I’d hoped, I wasn’t disappointed. Lyrically, this is some of her finest work, and on the musical end, there is a little something for everyone. Fans of David Crowder Band and Gungor will especially appreciate the musical whimsy, all while keeping its intense Christ-centered focus.
Although Jennie is openly more comfortable singing in a family-like setting surrounded by other voices, I’d personally like to see her take on more of the lead vocals on her next project. She has a very unique voice and I felt it was lost a bit with all the guest spots. Regardless, People & Songs: Opus 1 is an emotionally captivating project sure to lead all of it’s listeners into a personal time of praise and worship. If you’re a worship leader looking for fresh tunes for your congregation, or just a fan of the genre seeking out something new, give this album chance. I can assure you’ve met your match.
Great compilation!| Posted June 29, 2012
This album is a fantastiac compilation of worship songs written by Jennifer Lee Riddle. It includes some of the most iconic worship anthems, such as "Faithful", "When The Stars Burn Down" and "Revelation Song". This album is a must-have for worship fans!
Jennie| Posted June 28, 2012
Looks like a really good album! Only heard about it through New release tuesday.com but looks really interesting so I checked it out and here I am now! Hoping it'll be good and I'll check it out sometime!
I recomend| Posted June 28, 2012
I was listening the album preview in iTunes, and i can resiste and buy the CD! Its amazing! I love the "Revelation song" and i will learn to play by myself in piano! I recomend this album for all of my friends lol
love| Posted June 28, 2012
This album is wonderful. There are some great upbeat songs, as well as some reflective and more peaceful ones....I absolutely love it. It took me a couple of times listening through it entirely, as it was different than I expected.....but then the songs started to stick in my head....and now I listen to it all the time. Some great harmonies, great music.....It's different, and I would totally recommend it!
good music| Posted June 28, 2012
when the stars burn down could be one of the best praise and worship songs in the past decade. jennie lee did a marvelous job writing it and putting it together. i was very impressed by this latest album.
:)| Posted June 27, 2012
Looks pretty good, I LOVE the revelation song, so I'll have to check out their stuff sometime. And maybe they'll have this cd the next time I'm in Lifeway Christian Stores, hopefully they'll also have a coupon! Maybe? Hoping... :)
Album to God| Posted June 06, 2012
This album does not disappoint as God uses Jennie to speak to the masses of His great workings in the world. Jennie has a very special talent to identify special talents of God's childen who seek wholly after Christ. This album reveals her desire to see His name spread throughout the world. God bless Jennie Lee Riddle and all the artists you put in her path to make your name known!
People & Songs, Opus 1 Collective| Posted May 01, 2012
After reading the reviews from others, I was really excited to listen to this release. Overall though, I didn't find that it really gripped me. I really like the focus on Christ and the strength of the lyrics, but musically I think this may just not be a style that appeals to me as much. I am thankful that NRT featured this release this week on the site and for the opportunity to get exposure to what God is doing through Jennie.