Artist: Julianna Zobrist
Title: Say It Now
Label: Julianna Zobrist Productions
Release Date: 4/10/12
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- Behind Me
- Say it Now
- It’s Love
- Crazy Fearless
- Only You
Juliana Zobrist, wife of professional baseball player, Ben Zobrist; has produced her second album, ‘Say it Now’. As I started to listen to her music, sounding very similar to Plumb, Superchick, even new artist Beckah Shae; Julianna has created music that would soothe and calm even the stormy of souls, with positive lyrical content and musical arrangements with the same quality compared to that of TobyMac or Group 1 Crew. As spoken on her website, ‘…I want to provide music that inspires a person to move and think. Music in which you will want to dance around the house, but, also music that will prompt you to sit down, think and wrestle with the lyrics…’ These 6 songs are fun to dance to, but also provide moments of contemplation, reflection, sometimes even challenging the status quo, what it is and what it should be.
‘Crazy Fearless’ is a statement to stand out from the norm, the crowd that is calling us to follow what they are leading us to. With the big drum beats and electronic sounds that can lead someone to jump up and just dance; this is a serious song that begs the question: who do we live for- God or ourselves? Do we follow what everyone else says, or do we be ‘…brave until the world can hear us…’ These are tough questions that everyone needs to answer, but delay most of the time. There is a notion in society to always choose what is best for us, to have fun because ‘you only live once’, but we know that because we can do anything doesn’t mean that everything is good for us. We need to be bold and stand up for our faith, and this song clearly does this. With vocal distortion and a remix tone catering to the younger generation, this lyrical message is for ages. Well done Julianna for raising this issue of ‘…always serving two, how do you know who to choose…’
‘Behind Me’ is an encouragement when needed, speaking of moving on with life from something that has led us stuck in the present moment; either a failed relationship, words spoken over us that are just crippling, or maybe it’s just realising our full potential that we have when we’re in Christ. As Julianna sings over the electronic clapping and synthesiser keyboard sounds, we are introduced to how we all feel, trapped until we meet Christ and give Him our cares and concerns. It is when we acknowledge that we need help ‘…cause I’m going outta my mind, can somebody tell me how to move on with this life and truly be free?…’ that we can become free and leave our old life behind us. Even if we don’t acknowledge that we need help, God still freely gives it.
The rest of the album is just as enjoyable as these two songs. With no dull moments on the album, each track speaks to the listener in various ways. ‘Say It Now’ is about how we all have something to say in our lives, that whatever lies were spoken over us, that we’re not good enough to show the world who we really are; were taken care of when Jesus hung on that cross. Through the big drum beats and synth effects, Julianna shows that ‘…You’ve got something to say, so say it now…’ ‘It’s Love’ was written for a relationship between a man and a woman who have gone through some strain, hoping that what they have isn’t all lost. This is not a hopeless song, and similar to John Waller’s ‘While I’m Waiting’ and Warren Barfield’s ‘Love is Not a Fight’; we understand that love between two people requires hard work and discipline. Behind all the vocal distortion and synth remixing are hopeful words as Julianna longs for a moment when ‘…You are there, I am here and I realise I am safe with your love and your hand in mine…’ Sometimes love is messy, and takes more work that we can imagine, but it is worth it in the end to be with the person that God intended for us to be with, even before we were born. The last two songs, ‘Safe’ and ‘Only You’, are my favourites. Both sung about and to God, these two songs come from moments of realisation; that we are safe in His arms and no one can take the place of Him in our lives. Taking a motif that God is the groom and humanity the bride, Julianna shows her vulnerability as she yearns for Christ, knowing that ‘…I am safe with you…’ Sounding like Tricia Brock (Superchick lead singer) in this song, we worship with Julianna as she acknowledges how much the Lord is worth to her. ‘Only You’ also has a piano-based tune without many synth effects, and the lyrics stand out because of this. This is an identity song, and through this anthem, Julianna asserts that ‘…I want you and only you and no one else would ever do…’ God is our source of strength, and her potential second radio single succeeds with the intent to show the listeners where her allegiance lies. Well done Julianna for such a bold song!
Overall: This is our time to speak up for what matters, and according to Julianna’s website, ‘…no matter our personality or life situation, we are on earth to be a testament and witness of Christ and His power…’ Similar to many of today’s popular female rock hip-hop artists like Superchick, Beckah Shae and Plumb; this is one new artist that should be within the Christian music industry for a long time. Her infectious musical style and honest lyrics makes this one of the best electronic hip hop offerings of 2012! Well done Julianna for just an inspirational EP!
RIYL: Beckah Shae, Krystal Meyers, Superchick, Plumb
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3