Prime Cuts: I Need Jesus, Days like These, Here with Me
Overall Grade: 4.5/5
If you are looking for a record that is drenched with King Jesus, look no farther than JJ Weeks' "The Sound of Freedom." In a genre where there's an over saturation of "me"-centered rhetoric, where Jesus is often delegated as a mere means to our breakthroughs and to our life's dreams, few are the songs that actually places Jesus as more important than the mighty "me." This is why this record is not only so glorious, but it's indispensable for those who truly long for Jesus to be King rather than a pawn for our "destinies." To add further points to what's already a glowing majestic EP is Weeks vocals. Weeks sings with a heartfelt abandon that he literally throws ounce of emotions into his performance. This is striking transparent especially when he handles the ballads. You can't help but feel like he means every syllable he's singing and even more. It's not just that he's passionate in his execution, but there's a sense of the moving of the Holy Spirit in the flow of the songs that you can't help but be riveted in awe-inspiring worship.
"The Sound of Freedom" is JJ Weeks' debut solo 6-song EP after shedding away the word "band" after his name. And it's also his first outing for Radiate music, produced by GRAMMY-nominated, two-time Dove Award-winning "Producer of the Year" Ian Eskelin. Hands down, the best song on the record and a strong contender for one of 2020's most powerful song is "I Need Jesus." Set in the context of an irresistibly ear-grabbing melody, this acoustic guitar-laden ballad is a prayer expressing our need of Jesus more than our need of ourselves. Such a Godly prayer not only needs to be widely circulated, but it should be our daily soundtrack.
Put on your headphones and listen to the power ballads "Days Like These" and "Here With Me." Weeks' emotional nuances, his use of pauses, his modulation of his vocals from whispery to all powerful, make these songs that speak about God's sovereign love for us despite our sufferings extra sweet. When the tempo accelerates with the title cut "The Sound of Freedom," Weeks doesn't disappoint either. The swirling synths and the warmly padded percussion give "The Sound of Freedom" a deeper personality adding dimension and depth to the song. Meanwhile, the Motown-infused funk of "Got This Feeling" showcases Weeks' neo-soul Gospel proclivities. "Choices," with its predictable melody and its tiresome pop-centric sound, is perhaps the weakest track in an otherwise excellent collection.
When you sing about King Jesus and exalt him over all things, you can't really go wrong. This is the type of songs we not only need to hear, but these are the type of teachings we need to etched in our hearts. And these are ultimately the type of songs that bring eternal joy to our souls. So, let "The Sound of Freedom" resound; and let's party on.