by Natalie GrantNatalie Grant


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The light, cross-genre pop of Natalie Grant's 2003 LP, Deeper Life, wore its Christian and inspirational themes well, and gave her powerful vocals plenty of big-note opportunities. A lot of people noticed -- "No Sign of It" had some mainstream success on the soundtrack for Gwyneth Paltrow's View from the Top, and "Live for Today" garnered a Dove Award nod for Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year. Grant herself was nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year. Though she released a straightforward praise album in 2004, the singer revisits the sound of Life with the vibrant, heartfelt Awaken. Bright, Crayola-style primary colors burst from its lyric book, and the extensive photography features Grant smiling comfortably in contemporary fashions akin to a country-pop diva. (The look befits her duet with Wynonna on the modernist country gospel of "Bring It All Together.") The Mother Theresa prayer quoted in its liners points to Grant's Christian heart, and the title track speaks to the Lord directly while showcasing her soaring vocal. But Awaken is happy to praise Jesus over sparkling alternative-derived guitar pop, as "Something Beautiful," "Captured," or the Michelle Branch-style "What Are You Waiting For" prove. It also takes the non-specific approach -- lyrics like "Everywhere your love surrounds me" can be as romantic as they are reverent. "Another Day" is a tribute to family, while "Home" is an ambitious ballad complete with soaring strings. "You Move Me" returns to referencing the Lord directly over slick, reverby acoustic guitar, and "Live for Today" is another confidence booster/worship song defined by its rousing chorus. Though strong, the melodies on Awaken sometimes feel recycled, and its manicured instrumentation lessens the power of Grant's singing voice. But the album is still a capable blend of Christian themes with mainstream pop texture, meaning it deserves the same accolades Deeper Life received.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/22/2005
Label: Curb Records
UPC: 0715187886025
catalogNumber: 78860
Rank: 84637

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Natalie Grant   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Chris McHugh   Drums
Jerry McPherson   Electric Guitar
William Owsley   Bass,Guitar
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Jackie Street   Bass
Caltomeesh West   Choir, Chorus
Felicia Sorensen   Background Vocals
Bobby Sparks   Hammond Organ
Dan Needham   Drums
Chris Graffagnino   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Bernie Herms   Piano,Keyboards
Todd Parsnow   Guitar
Nikki Leonti   Background Vocals
Myron Butler   Choir, Chorus
Shanika Leeks   Choir, Chorus
Michael Ripoll   Guitar
Stephen Lewis   Piano
Jana Bell   Choir, Chorus
Ashley Guilbert   Choir, Chorus
Jason Bradford   Background Vocals
Phil Symonds   Acoustic Guitar,Bouzouki,Electric Guitar
Joey Canaday   Bass
Paul Moak   Guitar
Anthony Lavon Evans   Choir, Chorus
Charlene Ibroheim   Background Vocals
Tiffany Arbuckle-Lee   Background Vocals
Hope Owen   Background Vocals
Jeff Plant   Bass
Rob Graves   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Shaun Shankel   Piano,Keyboards
Jay Jackson   Pedal Steel Guitar
Jason Thomas   Drums

Technical Credits

Bridget Benenate   Composer
Steve Booker   Composer
Matthew Gerrard   Composer
Bryan Lenox   Engineer
Susanne Lewis   Composer
David Schober   Engineer
Chance Scoggins   Composer
Bill Whittington   Engineer
Joy Williams   Composer
F. Reid Shippen   Engineer
Bernie Herms   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,String Arrangements,Vocal Engineer,String Conductor
Guy Zabka   Composer
Fred Paragano   Engineer,Piano Engineer
Glenn Sweitzer   Art Direction
Christa Wells   Composer
Natalie Grant   Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Jason Bradford   Engineer
Phil Symonds   Programming,Producer,Engineer
Keith Getty   String Arrangements
Trina Harmon   Composer
Jason McArthur   Composer
Barry Weeks   Composer
Matthew West   Composer
Rob Graves   Arranger,Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Shaun Shankel   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements

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