Album Review: Jamie Grace – Hold Me

Imagine you could bottle happiness. You’d find it floating around your backyard like a bunch of fireflies, and then you’d catch it inside a Mason jar and seal it up really tight. You could set it on your nightstand and look at it before you went to bed every night. Now imagine you set this jar up in a recording studio, put a few microphones on it, shook the whole thing up, and then popped it open.

I’ve got a feeling the sound that you’d end up capturing would be pretty darn close to the new EP from Jamie Grace. The 19-year-old singer-songwriter is one of the latest additions to Gotee Records, and her short album just oozes happiness and fun.

The EP opens not with Jamie Grace’s voice, but with TobyMac’s – which, of course, is a great way to sell a Christian song. Anything the guy touches seems to turn to gold, and Jamie’s radio single “Hold Me” is no different. It’s easy to listen to, fun, and incredibly catchy. The album then moves on to “One Song at a Time,” a nice piano pop song. It’s not as strong as “Hold Me,” but it’s at least as fun, and often has me doing goofy dances when no one’s watching.

Unfortunately, after the second song, the EP is halfway over and starts to lose steam. “Holding On” is a pretty song and well performed, but it’s nothing special and almost comes as a disappointment that Jamie would stray from her fun and sunny vibe. The last song is an enjoyable cover of DC Talk’s “Into Jesus.” It’s a little more memorable than “Holding On,” if only because of its status as a DC Talk cover.

I think the album is really hurt by its shortness. It would function well as a collection of singles, but as a whole album, it feels a bit disorganized and – with the exception of “Hold Me” – gets old pretty quickly. I’m definitely looking forward to a full-length release from Jamie Grace, though. She has a great voice and great melodic pop sensibilities, and I have a feeling as she gets older she’ll only get better.

If I were to score only the first half of this EP, I’d probably give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars, while the second half would only score 3. Since the first half is stronger than the second half is bland, I’ll settle on an even 4 out of 5 stars. I may not listen to this EP too much, but I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for new releases.


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