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Rebecca St. James
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TRANSFORM (2000)
Transform - Click to view! "All Christians do is mimic popular styles." "Yeah, and it's usually years behind!" Heard this argument before? Well, don't take it lying down. On Transform, Rebecca St. James takes today's dance beats, tomorrow's electronica rock, and some of her past acoustic influences to craft a thorough and remarkable batch of songs. The London Sessions Orchestra leads off with a stirring, 19th century-esque "Intro," and the opener impels listeners to live life "For the Love of God" in this surrendering, shifting creed. Altering an eighties programmed sound to jive with a millennial beat, "Reborn" finishes wandering and takes hold of an unhidden, celestial Love. Voguish vocal delivery and propulsive acoustic guitar dilate on Luke 12's "Don't Worry" message in a very singable story-in-song. Rebecca undergoes a heart-check as the gypsy-like strings and syncopation of "Merciful" back a soulful admission of sin and wrong choices. A revved-up engine of worship, "One" tells of fascination with God and the ways He works, a robust, unitary melody written by two of the Cd's fifteen songwriters. Based heavily on scripture, "Universe" toils at lofty thoughts of the high, wide, and unstoppable love of God. Among the album's profoundest songs, St. James balances her piousness and progressive rhythm on "Wait for Me," a personal profession of chastity (and the only Transform cut solely by Rebecca). "Let Your Spirit loose and be alive," cries the vertically-directed single "In Me," followed by the paltry Earthsuit-authored "Lean On." Choppy guitar joins with dazzling harmonies on "All Around Me," a peppy track about the God who tumbles worlds and touches hearts. Reminiscent of Luna Halo, the united anthem "Stand" is an electrifying, jubilant chorus written for Teen Mania's "Stand Up 2000" event. A fitting close to this exemplary project, a meditative, Spanish-tinged praise melody regards the Lord alone as "My Hope." More pumpin' than the "hottest" dance albums in mainstream outlets, the punchy, dimensional music of Transform proves that Rebecca St. James is growing as a cultural role model and musical diva.
- Josh M. Shepherd
October 2000
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