Jimmy Needham, “If I Ever Needed Grace”

Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter Jimmy Needham, who is my second-favorite Christian songwriters – right behind Matthew West – has released If I Ever Needed Grace, the powerful carrier single off Clear The Stage, Needham’s fourth studio album under Inpop Records.

I am so excited for If I Ever Needed Grace and Clear The Stage, which was produced by renowned Contemporary Christian producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Aaron Shust, Laura Story). Needham has always been an insightful songwriter, and the themes he explores on Clear the Stage seem to be leaning towards dependence on God, and the attitude of gratitude needed when approaching one’s relationship with Him. Needham admits he went into the stage not fully confident of where he was headed with it – a few of the songs hadn’t been written yet – but that dependence on God carried him through as he sought to communicate that which God was telling him through his own navigation through life.

“I’ve come to understand obedience as more than simply not doing bad things,” he says, “but running to God to drink deeply in Him so that I don’t want to run to any other source.”

Needham’s humility and skillful songwriting prowess, as well as his vocal and guitar skills, have drawn numerous comparisons to other songwriters, including secular superstar Jason Mraz. Needham’s introspective views on faith, however, have put him in a class all his own.

Right now, If I Ever Needed Grace is available in acoustic format for viewing in this special YouTube video. However, the single will drop on iTunes very soon, and we can trust that Jesus will more than satisfy through the Jimmy’s music. After the Trip Lee-featured Grace Amazing, I, for one, am curious to listen to I Will Find You, a collaboration with Christian rapper-of-the-moment Lecrae; I’m also looking forward to hearing Clear The Stage, which Jimmy says changed his life.

“The first time I heard this song as a high school student, it wrecked me,” Jimmy says. “I don’t think anyone can be the same person after hearing this song. I’ll never forget hearing those words and immediately getting on my face before God. It’s a heavy way to close, but my hope is that by the end, every listener will say ‘I want more of Jesus and less of everything else.'”

That’s another CD I’ll be ordering off Amazon (unless MusiChristian.com offers an autographed CD, come on!), in addition to Wilson Phillips’ Dedicated and Jason Mraz’s Love is a Four Letter Word. 2012 for the win!

IF I EVER NEEDED GRACE Lyrics
Jimmy Needham

It still feels like yesterday
A lifetime of empty days
A hungry heart was desperate for a meal
I feasted on the bread of life
Forgiveness pierced me like a knife
Your breath filled up my lungs and I could feel
I was broke and all I could say was

If I ever needed grace, it’s now
You are strong when I am weak, somehow
I am weak enough to see
I need You to cover me
If I ever needed grace, it’s now

I met the woman of my dreams
Wanted to give her everything
Then fear came like a thief in the night
But my journal pages prophesy
That one day I’d make her my bride
Soon my best friend was wearing white
With our lives ahead all I could say was

If I ever needed grace, it’s now
You are strong when I am weak, somehow
I am weak enough to see
I need You to cover me
If I ever needed grace, it’s now

In every joy and pain
Whatever comes my way
God I need Your grace

Nine short months ’til she arrived
Little hands and lion’s eyes
And I’m so scared I don’t have what it takes
But I hear Your voice Sunday morning
Father give me eyes to see
All I need’s the power of Your Name

If I ever needed grace, it’s now
You are strong when I am weak, somehow
I am weak enough to see
I need You to cover me
If I ever needed grace
If I ever needed grace
If I ever needed grace, it’s now

Moriah Peters, “I Choose Jesus”

Debuting Contemporary Christian artist Moriah Peters, 19, is attracting Christian AC with her carrier single, I Choose Jesus. Peters, whose voice reminds me of Sixpence None the Richer vocalist Leigh Nash, is enjoying remarkable airplay for a debuting female artist – the last time I’ve seen radio react with these kinds of numbers was with the debut of Britt Nicole – and for good reason. Peters’ strong declaration of reliance on Jesus is resonating with many young girls her age, and with production from Ed Cash – best known for his work with Chris Tomlin – I guess we can say Peters has a bright future ahead of her.

“It’s the song that represents who I’m called to be,” Peters says in press releases, “not only as an artist, but as a daughter of Christ. I’m called to be bold. I’m called to be strong, and I’m called to be outspoken about who God is and what He’s done in my life.”

Peters is now touring on the 26-date “Rock & Worship Roadshow” with MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North, Disciple, and others, and may join multi-platinum-selling artist MercyMe on its spring 2012 tour slated to begin in April. No small feat for a debuting artist!

I have searched to find the meaning of this life
Something that would fill my empty soul
Some believe a lie
Choose darkness over light
But I will stand and let the whole world know

I choose Jesus
I choose Jesus
The One Who first chose me

I stand unashamed
Trusting in one name
‘Cuz I have seen the cross and I believe oh
This choice comes at a cost
All other things are lost
No other love could mean so much to me

I choose Jesus
I choose Jesus
The One Who first chose me
I choose Jesus
I choose Jesus
The One Who first chose me

he chose to love me when I felt unlovable
He chose to reach me when i felt unreachable
He carried me out of my fear and doubt
How I want the world to know
I choose Jesus

I choose Jesus
I choose Jesus
The One Who first chose me
I don’t want anyone but You
My Jesus
I choose Jesus
For now and eternity
For now and eternity

Needtobreathe, “Able”

Needtobreathe continues to release some of the best Southern flavored Contemporary Christian music this side of Nashville, and the band’s latest, Able, is no exception to that storied, enviable legacy. The latest release from Needtobreathe’s The Reckoning opus, Able is a fine ballad about humility and reliance on God, produced in the musical tradition of Washed By The Water, full of glorious Hammond-style keys, a full choir, and, of course, Bear Rinehart’s glorious voice. Able is picking up now at Christian AC, so I think we can safely expect Needtobreathe to add yet another title to its growing list of Top 10 hits.

ABLE Lyrics
Needtobreathe

There’s a host of hurts we come across
None of which alike
From the air inside the birthing room
To the darkness where we die
Though I feel I’m just as strong as any man I know
I’m not able on my own

Carry round the secrets
Only heaven knows
Crawl into our darkened rooms where only victims go
Though I feel I’m strong enough to carry all this load
I’m not able
I’m not able
I’m not able on my own

I’m not able (not able)
I’m not able (not able)
I’m not able (not able) on my own

I’m not able (not able)
I’m not able (not able)
I’m not able (not able) on my own

All my actions, false or true
Selfish motives I will use
We were born with knives in hand
Trained to kill our fellow man
If we’re not better than the rest
How will children do their best
Find your patience, find your truth
Love is all we have to lose
Have to lose

Cuz I’m not able
I’m not able
I’m not able on my own