“If you’re lonely, hurting, gone too far To the outcast you come as you are For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted…”
…and so will be Dara MacLean’s new album, due for release on September 24, 2013.
Fans of Francesca Battistelli will notice a similarity between the two artists; but while listening to MacLean’s WANTED album, I fell into a relaxed, everything’s-gonna-be-alright mood (it’s not very often a reviewer can genuinely say such things of an album). It was as if the weight of life became a whole lot lighter.
MacLean is a master of expressing a strong, moving emotion in her voice, while simultaneously guiding the listener into a state of peace not often conveyed by musicians. Even on the album’s upbeat songs, it’s obvious that the primary focus is not only on the backing music, but on the unchanging love of the King.
The title track on WANTED is also the first, and it provides a sizzling introduction. The song features driving guitar licks and a solid catchy beat, but more importantly tells of how we are wanted by our loving Father (a theme that carries through every song, as aforementioned).
The song gives only a taste of MacLean’s vocal prowress; with songs like “Love Is” and “Step Into The Light”, the listener experiences the full characteristic ambience of Dara’s voice, her band, and even the choir (yes, a choir…an automatic A+ in my book). The irreststable “Nobody But You” hangs on the border between jazz and ska, with a poppy catch somewhere in between. It’s personally my favorite track on the album. Classic hand-clappers like these make me wonder why I don’t hear them more often.
The declarative “Only Hope” and the motivating “Set My People Free” are vocally-driven anthems, more closely resembling the familiar contemporary Christian music styles. “Blameless” and “You’re All I Need” display a change of gears to a slower, more serene rhythm, allowing even more passionate emotion to flow through MacLean’s singing. The moving lyrics in “Blamless” asserting God’s “holy and blameless” sight of us can bring a listener to tears.
“Now blameless, You call me worthy. I’ve been forgiven… You call me righteous and free.”
Music is a powerful tool. It can be used for God’s glory or it can be abused, and the WANTED album is a remarkable example of the former. Dara MacLean is destined to be a shining star on the music scene, and we at SJD give WANTED a major #mustown, and we hope to do so in the future as well!