Album Review: Britt Nicole, “Gold”
At a Glance: More irresistible songs of empowerment and faith from one of Contemporary Christian music’s most successful solo female vocalists.
Britt Nicole’s third album, Gold, while not particularly groundbreaking lyrically, delivers a powerful punch musically with a hypnotic blend of hiphop, pop, and electronica, ensuring that the teenage to young adult market to whom she’s appealed since her 2007 debut will provide her solid support well into her hopefully long and storied career.
Gold by Britt Nicole
The album opens with the title track, the album’s best uptempo track and easily one of the best of her young yet successful discography. Gold could very well be her Katy Perry-esque Firework, with electronic bleeps, a singalong chorus that won’t quit, and a message of encouragement that would cross over easily to AC markets. “Whatever you’ve been told,” she sings, “you’re worth more than gold.” A quick rap section and acoustic guitar hooks make Gold a no-brainer for radio single status.
All This Time by Britt Nicole
All This Time, the album’s first radio single, follows this. While not initially a fan of All This Time, after a couple of listens, I realized how this single showcased her remarkable growth as a lyricist. More than a testimony of faith, All This Time is a declaration of faith that gives God all the credit He deserves for getting her through difficult times – specifically, the divorce of her parents. All This Time is her most successful Christian AC single to date, so I guess, what do I know?
Look Like Love is an instantly likeable pop-rock anthem with a great singalong chorus that speaks of the Christian desire to shine God’s love on a world desperately in need of it. When Britt sings “I wanna look like love,” you can sense her sincerity and want to sing along. Driving guitars and that virtually copyrighted drum loop that comes stamped with most Britt Nicole sings ensure this is clearly a standout of the album.
Musically, Who You Say You Are reminds me a bit of Hanging On from The Lost Get Found. Once again, those acoustic guitars and the drum loops are standard Nicole, but the chorus’ melody sounds like something we’ve come to expect from Nicole. (I actually kinda feel I’ve heard this song before; it could have easily been a song written for Jamie Grace or Mandisa; the keyboards I hear in the background of Who You Say You Are around 1:30 are eerily similar to the keyboards of Mandisa’s Leave It in the Valley.)
Amazing Life (Capital Kings Remix) by Britt Nicole
Britt does explore different sounds, but these are far and between rather rare. Ready or Not, a great dub-steppy R&B/pop piece, features Christian rapper du jour Lecrae in a bitterly short cameo. The intro to the rather dark-sounding Breakthrough is certainly different from anything Britt’s ever made before, especially with that acoustic guitar for the verse, and when the chorus kicks in, it’s like wow. I feel similarly that the club feel of Amazing Life – and the bonus Capital King remix that accompanies special editions of Gold – is something that Britt needs to pursue more. She sounds great.
The Sun is Rising by Britt Nicole
The Sun is Rising is the best ballad on the album, in my opinion. Similar to Walk on the Water, The Sun is Rising is classic Britt, with her go-get-’em message coming to the fore in a powerful way. “You’re gonna make it,” she sings, “and the night can only last for so long.”
The other tracks are great, but not particularly memorable. Seeing For The First Time, in particular, surprised me; it’s probably the first Britt closer that didn’t hit me straight out of the gate.
Bottom-line, Gold is great pop music that will work in both Christian and secular situations. Anyone would appreciate the extra encouragement, and as far as empowerment goes, Britt’s has the Gold medal.