REVIEW: Jason Nelson–“Jesus Revealed”

Jason Nelson-Jesus RevealedFor the better part of a decade, the gospel community has grown increasingly familiar with both the voice and pen of Jason Nelson. From his 2005 independent debut album I Shall Live, the skilled bass player displayed an unmistakable tone, lyrical quality, and vocal presence that was both indisputable and undeniable. That project would birth the singles “Thirsty” and “Place of Worship” which would be a part of Marvin Sapp’s historic 2008 project Thirsty, which produced the huge single “Never Would’ve Made It”. In 2012, he would join Marvin Sapp as part of the RCA Inspiration roster and release the project Shifting The Atmosphere. That project produced the Top 5 singles “Shifting The Atmosphere” and “Nothing Without You”, catapulting Nelson into the mainstream conversation among gospel consumers.

Welcome to 2015, where Nelson releases his fourth solo project titled Jesus Revealed. For this new effort, the Baltimore native takes 14 tracks dedicated to the simple premise of revealing Jesus in a relevant and accurate musical context. He continues his partnership with producer and songwriter Dana Sorey, who has worked with everyone from Tye Tribbett and L. Spenser Smith to Eric Roberson and Algebra Blessett. Sorey served as the album’s musical director, working with an all-star band that featured Parris Bowens (keys), Kenneth Shelton (keys), Morgan Turner (bass), Chris Forbes (organ), Elliot Johnson (drums), and Rick Watford (guitar). He also enlists the amazing Daniel Johnson as vocal director and arranger, with skilled background vocalists that include Krystle McConico (Israel & New Breed), Jeremiah Hicks (Kirk Franklin), and new Motown Gospel signee Gene Moore among others.  The end result is a fresh and new sound that reveals new musical layers to Nelson’s already impeccable presentation.

Jason Nelson Live Recording ShotPrimarily known for his ballads and worship songs, Nelson kicks off the project with an upbeat and forward thinking collection of songs that will get you moving and rocking all at the same time. After a movie like intro describing the purpose of the project, the release kicks off with “God Is Great”. With a strong urban-pop feel, this track’s simple melody is quick to catch and effortlessly flows into “Pour Out Your Spirit”. As the song transitions, so does the intensity of the presentation, as Nelson and crew simply ask for an overflow of God’s Spirit. Again, the fun is found in the incredible musicality and nuances of transitions. Whether transitions into bridges from a chorus or a transition into a new song, this trio of songs is simply amazing. With that said, note the transition into “Can’t Stop Calling”, which is clearly influenced by the “King of Pop”, Michael Jackson. When you hear it, you’ll get it!! That takes you into the powerful “Can’t Stop Calling”, which speaks to the addictive nature of calling the name of Jesus. This song will undoubtedly send you into a full on fit!! Nelson teams with his twin brother Jonathan Nelson in penning this track.

For those who love ballads, Nelson doesn’t disappoint. The lead single “I Am” has already topped the Mediabase charts at radio, producing Nelson’s first #1 single. Well the album version only intensifies the power of this song while showcasing the Stellar award winner’s incredible vocal ability! (Don’t try these vocal runs without supervision! :-)). He teams with Fo Yo Soul Entertainment artist and BET Sunday Best winner Tasha Page-Lockhart for the Jamel Strong penned track “I See The Lord”. This vocal combination is both dynamic and powerful!

JasonNelson_JesusR_CVR_imageMusically, Nelson takes some chances not found in previous recordings that really work for him. Award winning songwriter Darius Paulk, known for the huge hit “Nobody Greater”, pens the folksy/country tune “So In Love”. This wildly infectious tune was an absolute favorite at the album’s live recording and leans heavily on the acoustic guitar, expertly played by Matthew Sampson. Another favorite is the quartet-themed track “I Can Run”. Yes, Nelson can sing quartet, and sing it well! The album’s title track is a thought-provoking song which challenges believers to present a compassionate and forgiving Jesus. This song is incredibly relevant and, by design, is certain to spark many conversations. The album’s final single “Right In This Place” returns to the urban-pop vibe that kicks off the album and shows that Nelson can jam with the best of them with this dance track.

From cover to cover, this project masterfully combines Nelson’s incredible vocal texture and musical genius with a relevant and accurate message that is palatable to all. You are guaranteed to enjoy all 77 minutes of this project which accomplishes the mission of its title, allowing Jesus to be revealed. This is already a front-runner for one of the year’s best efforts and deserves prime real estate in your musical collection.

Jason Nelson: Jesus Revealed
Release Date: Jan. 20, 2015
RCA Inspiration
Purchase Here: | iTunes | amazon |

 

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