Jimmy Needham - Clear the Stage
Last modified: 02 Mar 2012
There has been a little bit of a theme in my reviews of Jimmy Needham
, always describing him as having a Jack Johnson vocal sound coming through and the last two albums I described as having the perfect summer sound with their funky beats. Was I trying to pigeonhole Jimmy? It looks I have been and I'm sorry about that, but does his new album Clear The Stage
continue that sound? Well, I'll tell you that answer in a short moment.
Needham released his debut album, 'Speak
', in 2006, followed by 'Not Without Love
' in 2008 and his third album 'Nightlights
' in 2010, but now Jimmy is releasing his fourth album, 'Clear The Stage'
. Produced by Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Laura Story, Dave Barnes, Aaron Shust) the ten-track album features guest vocals from Hip Hop star Lecrae.
So back to the original question, has this new album moved away from the funk summer feel-good sound that we have become used to with Jimmy Needham? The answer is both yes and no! There is still a proportion of the album which does have this sound, and a sound that Jimmy does so well, especially in the opening Maroon 5 inspired 'I will Find You'
and the swaying funk beats of 'Arrows'
. Then there is the Paolo Nutini sounding track 'Daddy's Baby Girl'
which is about the birth of the singers new baby girl and is a beautiful song to sing about his new daughter and how it makes him feel.
Then there is a part of this album which has its big pop rock songs like My Victory
and If I Ever Needed Grace
, which are songs about Jimmy and his relationship with God. Two very strong songs on the album. But the place where Jimmy takes this album to a whole new level is with the songs that see him at his most vulnerable. This sees Jimmy dig deep to a place of true honesty with the trails and tribulations that he has sadly had to go through, in songs like Rock Bottom
and In the Middle
As a whole the album contains some of Jimmy's most heartfelt and powerful songs to date, that show that Jimmy as a songwriter has grown so much even since the last album.
Where I might have expected this album to sound like I thought it might, it really doesn't. Still with the style and swagger of previous releases but with a lot more maturity in the songwriting. For example Stay
is a stunning piece of work, with the song
sounding like Ed Sheeran. Jimmy plays a simple acoustic guitar beautifully making this song a real treat to listen to, whatever the weather. Overall this album has plenty going on and with each listen has grown on me. A top quality recording this one.
Review by Jono Davies
In The Middle
Daddy's Baby Girl
I Will Find You