Artist – Jaci Velasquez
Album – Diamond
Album Length – 11 Tracks: 41 Minutes
Label – Inpop Records
Street Date – February 7, 2012
IPod Pick – Guilt (If you understand Spanish ‘Con El Viento A Mi’)

When I heard via twitter that Jaci Velasquez (one of the few artists I grew up listening to who are still in the business) was releasing ‘Diamond’ some seven days back, I couldn’t wait to get it. So after giving it a listen, this is what I sincerely think about the album.
The album starts off with ‘Diamond’ which I think should have been placed somewhere in the middle. ‘Give Them Jesus’ offers nothing new musically but would sure get you moving and it’s sure worth listening. ‘Sound of Your Voice’ is something you would want to skip in a hurry to get to the next track. ‘Stay’ gets you wondering if Jaci hasn’t turned on the radio in recent times to know how pop music has evolved since her last project.

The Spanish track (even though you might not understand what Jaci is singing) would simply steal your heart away; I have always thought Jaci was always a better Spanish singer because somehow she connects more on her Spanish songs. ‘Con El Viento A Mi Favor’ which translates “With the wind in My Favour” is a must listen, it would touch someplace deep in your heart, yes it’s that good musically. The album jumps back to its heavy pop sounds on the story-telling form song writing ‘Tell me Again”. ‘Girl’ has a bouncy intro like the Cabaret songs, something recently close is Francesca Battistelli’s Letting Go. From the intro of “Trust in Me” I just fell in love with it. It’s musically creative and sounds like something a mainstream artist say ‘Madonna’ might come up with on an album but at the same time reminds me of the early days of Jaci especially the ‘Crystal Clear’ Project.

I heard so much about ‘Guilt’ before I got the album but I think it sounded more like something that missed the cut of Jaci’s 2005 ‘amazing’ brit pop rock project that didn’t get the attention it deserved ‘Beauty has Grace” but I would still say it’s one of the strongest song on the album lyrically. Imagine Jaci as the lead vocalist of a rock band say Creed or Fireflight, you have ‘Guilt’. ‘Good Morning Sunshine’ starts off with sweet piano keys and maintains the ballad feel throughout the song.

Apart of thinking ‘Give them Jesus’ would have been a stronger way to start of the album, I also think the over musical poppy feel of the album kind of diverts attention from the lyrical content of the album which has always been a very strong point in Jaci’s music. One thing is for sure, this album would sure grow on you. It’s not the type you give one listen to and just give your verdict. But still for first time listeners of Jaci’s music, I would advise you to get the deluxe version of ‘Diamond’ which is to commemorate Jaci’s 20 years in the music industry. It contains some great songs from her former project. And for the all-time fans you might just want to get this and add to your Jaci collection no matter what I have to say.

 

Review by Ayo Stephens. He is a regular contributor to the music section of Yada Magazine. He blogs at Verbs and Vibes and The Voice. You can follow him on Twitter @ayostephens

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