Artist: Rachael Lampa
Title: All We Need
Label: Universal Christian Music Group
Release Date: 9/27/11
Reviewer: Jonathan Andre
- All We Need
- Saviour’s Face
- Beauty’s Just A Word
- No Escape
- Uncharted Territory
- My One and Only
- Run to You
- Live for You (2011)
With numerous singles in the top 10 AC/CHR radio charts from her previous albums Live for You, Kaleidoscope, and Rachael Lampa; Rachael Lampa saw that music was defining her life during the peak of her career, walking away from music in 2004. She then resurfaced in 2009 with an EP, Human; and also released a Three Songs for Christmas EP in 2010. With her comeback album, All We Need, Rachael chooses her lyrics to echo the season of life she was in that led to her comeback. With a brand new recording of her #1 single ‘Live for You’, as well as carefully penned songs that reflect hope, beauty and rebirth; Rachael’s album All We Need resonates in both Christian and mainstream markets alike, and is a great collection for the avid fan of her previous work.
The album opens with the pop anthem, the title track, where Rachael proclaims the lyrics, ‘…Where the road takes me, where the road takes me I’ll never walk alone…’ Rachael declares from the outset that she is not alone, truly understanding something that many people in this world don’t. Refreshed from her time away from the music scene, Rachael sings a prayer of sorts, boldly asserting that ‘…love is all we need…’. This is one of my album highlights, and with an infectious dance hook to the song, I was able to reflect in the lyrics, that God is love, and love is all we need. When everything is stripped away and we don’t know where to go from where we are now, God will still be there in the midst of everything, showing us signs to where He wants us to be.
The album radio single, ‘Remedy’ is another personal favourite. With a soft intro with just the piano and Rachael’s vocals, she cries out, singing ‘…I know just living life can get so crazy day and night, but I’ve got somebody by my side, by my side…’ It is a reminder that the Lord is always there with us and He is our remedy that we, individually and as a society, are looking for. The reminder of the second verse ‘…always take me back no matter where I’ve been…’ is a reminder even for myself that God gives second chances. He runs to us with open arms, our remedy for all our problems, and fixer of our hurts. The soaring percussion and acoustic guitars throughout the song gives a stripped back vibe, with a reliance on the lyrical content. And with lyrics like ‘Jesus, you’re my remedy’, how can you not enjoy this song?
Written for her husband, Rachael Lampa penned a song, ‘My One and Only’ that can be used to describe what she also feels about the Lord of her life. What can be played in the mainstream arena as a dance tune to rival modern female artists, this song expresses the devotion between Rachael and her husband, and also on a subtle note, how God feels about each one of us. The electronic nature of the song, coupled with the beating drums and rising guitars, further improves the marketability of this song in the mainstream market. The lyric ‘…You are my one and only, right from the start, you saved my damaged heart…’ lets the listener see Rachael’s devotion, to her husband and also to the Lord, acknowledging that ‘right from the start’ the Lord was able to speak into her life and woo her to Himself. We all need the encouragement that God is indeed our ‘one and only’, He will always be there even if or when others may not.
There are many other standouts to this album. ‘No Escape’, a feel good upbeat tune that will make you dance involuntarily is a reminder that there is no escape from the love of God, and that ‘…You’re the center of my universe, everywhere I try to turn, there’s…no escape from your love…’ ‘Elevate’ is a guitar driven melodic song about rising above our problems. It can be a bit humanistic, but the theme that I can see, also threaded through the album, is that with God, we will elevate above the ordinary into the extraordinary. ‘Beauty’s Just a Word’ speaks about how God is always there through the pain, that ‘…hurt is just a chance to heal…tears are just a call to feel…’ and beauty is brought to the fore when we surrender the moments of pain and hurt to the One who can carry us through them, reminding ourselves that it is through those moments when we realise we’re ‘…right where you’re supposed to be…’
Many themes are explored over numerous songs in this album; and range from the discovering of the unknown and boldly stepping out without knowing what is ahead (‘Uncharted Territory’), acknowledgement that we are all in need of a Saviour of our souls (‘Saviour’s Face’), to running to the one constant in our lives when everything else is crashing around us (‘Run to You’). Rachael’s central theme of surrender to the Lord is evident. Through her poignant lyrical content, driven guitars and an electronic music focus, as well as motivational ballad moments, Rachael is able to use her experience away from the music industry and forge 12 musical moments that can speak to the listener in different moments of their life.
Overall: Listening to this album has brought back a favourite bible verse for me: 1 John: 7-10. In these verses, John urges us to “…continue…[loving] each other since love comes from God…the person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love…” By listening to this album, I was able to reflect in the knowledge that God is love; the phrase ‘love is all we need’ has become clearer to me than ever. This is an album for anyone needs encouragement and hope, anyone who is a Rachael Lampa collector, or if you just want to sit back and listen to songs sung about our identity in Christ. Whatever the case, All We Need is an album that has unexpected dance beats and catchy lyrics. This album is a reminder of how “…God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him…not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God…” If this album is available at your local Wal-Mart or Target store, or even on Amazon mp3 or iTunes; buy it. You won’t be disappointed!
RIYL: Natalie Grant, Britt Nicole, Christy Nockels, Addison Road
Buy the Album: iTunes/Amazon mp3