Review Rating: Must Listen! [4.8 / 5]
“When you grow in faith in Christ, your life gets louder,” Jackie Hill Perry explains in an interview. It's no surprise then that her latest album, Crescendo, speaks volumes about the Christian life. Her songs tackle important issues within the church, firing off passionate, fast-paced verses one minute and pausing for introspection the next. Crescendo's relentless and unrestrained honesty and passion make this collection a necessity for listeners.
"Lamentations" kicks off the album with a reflective track. Jackie all but immediately launches into lyrics as low, steady, bass-emphasized beats lay the foundation for the song. This is no gentle stroll down memory lane - this is a fast-paced, merciless self-review where Jackie details her struggles. Every crescendo starts off low and the song only amplifies this theme. "I'm scared of me, God - terror defined," Jackie fires away, "I need the Shepard, the staff, the valley, the shadow to pass me."
"Fall Away" still brings the listeners to a low point, describing a plea for someone to return to Christ. Keyboard notes blend behind a slow yet active beat, creating a sound that's sorrowful yet hopeful. Jackie's words accelerate across the lyrics, with a passionate, pleading chorus to sandwich the struggles with a cry for redemption - "Lights faded out and it’s dark, but never too far from Him, come back to your first love," the chorus cries.
The crescendo theme picks up with "Thy Neighbor," a convicting and fiery track that tackles an issue within the church without hesitation. Upbeat drums and brass create an engaging and captivating sound to support bold and passionate lyrics. Jackie launches into her verses with incredible speed and stamina, firing off with barely a pause between statements. She challenges the infighting and strife in the church today, bringing everything back to Jesus' intents. "Is it religious to treat the church like she doesn't matter - wasn't she ransomed?" she asks.
The crescendo reaches its peak with the title track, tying together the collection with a testimony that ends on a high note. A steady beat is immediately outpaced by Jackie's fast-paced lyrics, throwing the emphasis on the story that she tells. It's a testimony of two people - a man and a woman - going back and forth in both good and bad times. The thread that ties it all together, though, is the work of God - work so evident that it speaks volumes in their lives. This is the peak of the crescendo, the point where God speaks most loudly through one's life. It's all capped off with "Reprise," a worshipful note that ends the album with a beloved hymn.
There's a song in Crescendo for every moment in life - the lows and highs of a walk with God. Honesty and sincerity saturate every track, whether it's filled with bold fire or transparent reflection. Jackie Hill Perry launches into each song with impressive passion and effortlessly connects with listeners through each song. Without a doubt, Crescendo is worth repeated listening.