Artist: Heather Schnoor
Title: This One’s For You
Release Date: 11/13/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- As Long As You’re Here
- You Remind Me
- This One’s For You
Stumbling upon Heather on iTunes a day or so ago, this EP has been such a blessing and surprise as I start to search for some new artists and music to listen to as of late, other than new releases from Chris Tomlin, VOTA, Tenth Avenue North, Steve Grace and Dan Bremnes that have released in the past few months. With her vocals sounding strikingly similar to that of veteran singer songwriter Nichole Nordeman (with a hint of vocal similarity to Ginny Owens, Bethany Dillon and Lindsay McCaul thrown in for good measure); this young artist from Nebraska has given listeners four songs of hopeful melodies and infectious joy as we are reminded of our identity and acceptance in Christ. Originally going to use her voice to either sing Country music or even move into the world of Opera, Heather began to ‘…reflect upon her current life, herself as a person, and ultimately who she wanted to be…’ Realigning her music ministry to focus more on contemporary Christian pop, Heather has been able to write her four melodies with a purpose in mind, and that ‘…My ultimate goal is to make music that inspires, gives hope, and lets people know that they are loved not just by me but by the one who created and gave them life… If I can reach people, even on a small level, that is fulfilling enough…’ From the heartfelt ‘This One’s For You’ to the first radio single ‘You Remind Me’, this 4 song EP is a snapshot of Heather’s music career both now and into 2013- with vocals and poetic lyrics like this, a major record signing is certainly not that far away.
‘You Remind Me’ is the first radio single from the album, and though it’s only 2:43 in length, the song is able to speak volumes in terms of the message of hope and encouragement as we understand that God continues to remind us of the good things He has done in our lives, the hope we have in Him, and our identity as sons and daughters of God Himself. Starting off with a electric guitar introduction and some ‘do-do-do’ backing vocals to set the mood of a pop track with a hard-hitting message, we are given a scenario of someone who is caught up in the moments of everyday life- the love and heartbreaks of friends and family. Yet through all the madness and sometimes chaos and calamity, listeners are reminded of the promise that God speaks to us- that ‘…You always standing there right behind me, when I feel alone You stand beside me, if I forget who I am or where You are, You remind me…’ Sometimes when we are right in the middle of issues we just can’t escape, we can lose sight of God who is right beside us. This song is a gentle reminder of the truth that the God of the universe doesn’t stray from us when we are in trouble. Well done Heather for such a heart-warming and fun track of remembrance and confidence.
The rest of the album portrays both restoration and lyrical poignancy as Heather gives us three melodies full of emotion and encouragement as we are compelled to hear what the Father is speaking through her in these heartfelt songs of encouragement, belief and motivation. The first song on the album, simply titled ‘Believe’, is a melody about just that- starting off the song with the hauntingly confronting lyrics ‘…I have tried so hard, but I can only go so far on my own, all alone, I stumbled in the dark and discovered where You are…’; we are called to believe that God has never left us in the moments when we need Him the most. Not because of a feeling or because of an emotion, but because of His promises to us. With a looping percussion, hand claps and a soothing vocal to calm the weary soul; we are met with an anthem that gives us hope in the darkest places as we journey through our lives full of uncertainties that only can be made sure with Christ with us. ‘As Long as You’re Here’ is a melody that lets listeners not forget the truth that God is everything that we need, and that ‘…I have all I need as long as You’re here with me…’ A simple fact that is sometimes lost in the shuffle as we trek into our everyday lives, this song is a constant and daily reminder of God the constant Friend by our side, and with a great electric guitar backdrop and Heather sounding very much like Nichole Nordeman in some parts of the song; this 3:20 length melody is another bright spot on this 4 song EP.
But the real gem of the track list is the last song, ‘This One’s For You’. Speaking to those who may not see their potential, we as Christians are called to speak truth into people’s lives and lift them up when we see them struggling with their lives and their faith. With Heather offering up the simple words ‘…you are more than your choices, you are more than your mistakes…this regret is not your story, you were made for so much more, you are destined for redemption and that’s a hope worth living for…’, we are able to meditate and soak on the lyrically rich words of affirmation, love and heartfelt hope. The one line of ‘…this one’s for you…’ in the chorus reminds us that the song can be for anyone- to those who are feeling far from God or for even those who are still with God, yet need a reminder of who they are in Him. The choir of voices at the end of the song is a nice addition, with the children’s voices a sign that a song like this can also be written with them in mind too. Well done Heather for my favourite song on This One’s For You EP.
Overall: Not since Leeland and their global impact around the world in 2006 with their debut album Sound of Melodies have I been so excited about a new artist. With such an honesty in her music that gives me great joy as I listen to these humble melodies filled with lyrically rich pieces of gold to be extracted from the heartfelt words of affirmation and encouragement, Heather’s unique ability to create both songs of hurt and hope in one four minute song is just astounding as I hear some of my favourite songs I’ve listened to in 2013. A must purchase if you love contemporary pop from Nichole Nordeman, Lindsay McCaul, Ginny Owens or Bethany Dillon, Heather is able to give listeners hope with this collection of songs. From the pop-infused track of ‘You Remind Me’ to the emotional last stanzas of ‘This One’s For You’, this album is a call-to-action, to believe, act and encourage our family and friends with the love of Christ that has transformed us from the inside out. With this EP a precursor to what Christ has in store for her in 2013, This One’s For You EP is certainly one of the standout EPs of the last few months. Well done Heather for a compelling EP.
RIYL: Lindsay McCaul, Ginny Owens, Bethany Dillon, Nichole Nordeman
Buy the Album: iTunes