|Captivated by Nicole's Latest | Posted June-21-2011
It's been three years since Nicole C. Mullen has released an album, and her latest effort, Captivated, will prove to her fans it was worth the wait.
The ten new songs are full of truth and good reminders. The album also contains three extended mixes and one radio edit. Nicole's vocals are very strong throughout the album and the background vocals add to the power.
Mullen is joined on the album by several very talented contributing artists, including Michael O'Brien, Papa San, and The Katinas. From the upbeat pop to the soulful gospel, the album is musically strong, even if the vocals outdo the instruments.
The album begins with “Holy Captivated.” It is a beautiful song of praise to Jesus' name. It starts out slow and builds up through the song. My favorite line of this song comes right before the chorus, “Even in pain, you're worthy of praise.” The vocals are pure, and I only think the organ distracts from them.
The second track, “I Can Do,” livens things up. The energetic chorus is catchy and makes it very easy to remember the popular Bible verse, Philippians 4:13. The background vocals are eminent in this song. You won't be able to listen to this song without feeling ready to take on the world with Jesus by your side.
“I Need You (As The Deer)” is a good reminder about how much we need Jesus. It is upbeat and has enticing lyrics. The bridge is very powerful, declaring: “I need You, I need, more than air that I breathe. I need You, I need You, more than food, more than drink. I need You, I need You, more than flowers need rain. I need You, I need You, more than I can explain.” The vocals are great and the harmonies are beautiful. Instrumentally, the song has a unique mix of drums, organ and guitar.
“Kingdom Come” is an modern rendition of The Lord's Prayer. The song has a soft blend of the vocals and instruments that is amazing. The song puts you in the right mindset, reminding us to pray for God's will to be done in every situation.
The next song, “My Shepherd,” is an encouraging song. The lyrics consist of Psalm 23. At the end, the vocals overlap saying, “I shall not want, I shall not lack, I shall not do with out any good thing.” The musical style certainly gives a nod to contributing reggae artist Papa San.
“Forgive Me” is a heartfelt confessional. Through the lyrics and instrumentation it magnificently conveys the feelings of regret we have, in a way that only can be expressed through music. Then it moves on to the thankfulness and healing that follows confession. The piano, violin and drums at the beginning of the song set the quiet, serious feeling of the song.
“Lead Me” is a soulful cry out to God: “When my heart is overwhelmed, and I can hardly stand, lead me to the Rock.” I really enjoy the vocals featuring The Katinas. This song reminds us that through all of our difficult circumstances, the simple thing to do is call out to God. Though instrumentally the song may not be very strong, the impressive vocals more than make up for it.
“My Tribute/Redeemer” is an expression of thankfulness to God. “My Tribute,” which contains the hymn “To God Be the Glory,” and Nicole's hit song “Redeemer,” are arranged together. Vocally this song is probably the best on the whole album. I really enjoy this powerful medley.
“A Song For You” is about the unconditional praise we should give to God. “As long as there's still one breath in me, there always will be one more song for You.” This song brings to light a perspective that we often don't want to think about: at our worst and best, no matter what, are we still praising God? The instruments and vocals blend very well on this song.
Lastly, “Praise Your Holy Name” is an acoustic song of praise, love, and dedication. “As long as I live, I'll praise Your holy name.” This song is different from all the rest on the album, as Nicole is the only vocalist and only one guitar is heard. I think this depicts the simplicity of the choice to love.
Captivated is full of encouragement and challenging truths. The vocals couldn't get much better and the instruments aren't bad, either. This album can be enjoyed by the whole family. I enjoy the use of Scripture throughout these songs, and the straightforwardness of the other lyrics. If you have never listened to Nicole C. Mullen or you are a longtime fan, you should give this new album a listen and be captivated by the beautiful truth.
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