Elizabeth South’s “I Love You” Album (that features a duet with Vince Gill on the Title track) has been released today!! Please show your support today by Purchasing her New Album! The Physical Deluxe CD/DVD Edition is available at: http://www.elizabethsouth.com/album-detail.html and the Audio on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-love-you/id602827306
The Physical Album will be a Deluxe Edition, including the Audio CD, a Lyrics Booklet and a DVD with 3 of Elizabeth’s Music Videos (I Love You – feat. Vince Gill, Superstar, and Don’t Give Up).
Here is an awesome Review of the Album:
Joshua Andre — Read the Original Christian Music Zine Review at: http://christianmusiczine.com/elizabeth-south-i-love-you-review/
February 25, 2013
Release Date: February 25th 2013
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
Singer songwriter Elizabeth South has had a very remarkable career so far, given that she is a full time elementary school teacher as well as an artist not signed to any label. In that context, it’s hard to believe that Elizabeth is releasing her 5thalbum in 3 years. Collaborating with producer Billy Smiley for most of her career; ever since I first listened to Elizabeth’s music, from her heartfelt “Have Faith”, to the inspirational and motivational “I Will Trust You”, to the upbeat and danceable “Don’t Give Up”; I have immediately loved her music and enjoyed everything about her style, which is quite varied. Since releasing her album Do it Afraid in November 2011 (which was when I truly took notice of Elizabeth’s music- her video of “I Will Trust You” blew me away!), Elizabeth South has been able to bring listeners into her heartfelt melodies, with honest lyrics, catchy music, and biblical truths. Building upon the themes in her 2011 release about stepping out in faith and facing our fears while we are still afraid, because true strength is facing what scares us instead of running away from our troubles; this 2013 release I Love You speaks specifically about the fears and insecurities that we have about not being loved and never being enough. While Elizabeth soothes us and reassures us that an eternal love exists for us in Jesus Christ, and with Him everything will be ok; the execution and delivery of her music is in a new and fresh way, as Elizabeth diverges slightly from her slower ballads, and introduces some rock anthems and country songs in her repertoire. From the dance remix-y track “Superstar”, influenced by her students and a Katy Perry song; to the emotional and personal title track, sung with Amy Grant’s husband Vince Gill; these 10 tracks of comfort, hope and God’s faithfulness is sure to give us assurance and confidence in the love of Jesus Christ, as Elizabeth reminds us of God’s unending and unwavering promise that He will be our everlasting Love that never changes and is the same yesterday and forever. Elizabeth is such a talented singer and songwriter, and I Love You is her most relatable and musically daring, yet lyrically deep album to date!
Opening the track list is “Superstar”, with the song inspired by Elizabeth’s students and their desire for her to record a pop/rock/dance/country album. Thematically about how as Christians we do not have to be ‘famous’ or recognised by the whole world to know in our hearts that we are special and loved in God’s eyes, this song reminds me of the Max Lucado’s children’s picture book “You Are Special” that I used to read when I was younger. The protagonist Punchinello, a wooden ‘boy’ similar to Pinocchio; had an epiphany in the book, and came to know and fully realise the extent of God’s love after believing for too long that he was unworthy of God’s lavish and unending love and devotion. In the same way, Elizabeth encourages us through the reverb, synth and electric guitars in this upbeat anthem, that we are special the way we are, and God loves us unconditionally. And as Elizabeth declares that we ‘…don’t have to be a superstar, it’s not the size of fame but the size of your heart; to let the world know it is true, you only have to be, you only have to be just you..’; the song with thematic and musical elements similar to Katy Perry’s “Firework”, is a great opener for the album!
Even though Elizabeth’s forte is the slow ballad, through these 10 tracks, it is shown that she is actually very diverse and creative, both musically and lyrically. The rocker “Undone” utilises and employs many musical instruments to create an added depth. With Elizabeth describing someone with feelings of isolation and hopelessness in the piano centred verses, the switch in the lead of instruments to the guitar in the chorus highlights the emotion and change of perspective as Elizabeth poses questions and asks God if He will be there in the trials yet provides us comfort as she concludes that Jesus won’t‘…leave me left undone…’, as God is faithful always. Following on from the inspirational rockers that inspire us to live like Jesus, are the tracks about romantic love and human relationships. Both “Kiss Hello” and “I Love You” speak about waiting for the person God has placed in your life to be your spouse, and as an inference from that, abstaining from sex until marriage. It’s a common issue in today’s society about purity, yet these two tracks give us something important to think about. While “Kiss Hello” is a party of electric guitars with solos to impress even Stu G of Delirious?, and it’s clear that Elizabeth had a blast recording the song; the title track is strikingly different musically, as it reminds me of a country ballad, as Elizabeth sounds like country artists Carrie Underwood and Martina McBride in this track. And singing a duet with Vince Gill (probably a dream come true for Elizabeth!) about waiting for the right person to come along to love, and believing that God has a perfect plan for love, takes guts and courage, and is sure to inspire many single people in this world. Well done Elizabeth for both of these emotional and lyrically poignant and relevant tracks.
The country inspirational ballad also continues with “Change”, where Elizabeth inspires each one of us to be our own person and not conform to what the world expects of us. Reminding me of Romans 12:2 that as Christians we are strangers in this land; “Change” is a call to action, and invokes in us a sense of standing up for what we believe in, and not going the way of the norm because of peer pressure, but doing what is right for us, and doing what God places on our hearts, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Musically, Elizabeth has taken a risk by putting 2 country songs together consecutively, but like the lyrics of the song suggest ‘…just be the change you want to see…’; Elizabeth pulls of this risk and left field change beautifully, and after listening to this song countless times, I can say it’s one of my favourites from Elizabeth ever!
From the guitar led mid tempo track about waiting for the right opportunities in life and trusting that God will be with us every step of the way, and that God is with us always (“Waiting”), to the electronic remix-y experimental different musical journey ala Owl City and Capital Kings that explores the fact that every aspect of God and each new discovery of a quality of His is like a fascination and an ‘addition’ for us, and about how the more we know God, the more we fall in love with Him (“Fascination”); the next song “Let Love Shine” is a highlight, and one of my favourites. Releasing on youtube as a lyric video a few weeks before the album release (the video is removed now); the electric guitar prominent slow ballad has Elizabeth singing at her best, and delving into issues such as division and loving our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Singing about wishing for a simpler life with no messy conflicts and that ‘…I wish there was no sickness, I wish no one was poor, I wish we’d learn to love each other instead of starting wars…’; Elizabeth declares in the stirring and moving chorus that Jesus is the answer to all of our questions and that as we let His love permeate throughout the world we can shine for Him and truly make a difference in this world. Musically, for some reason, the track reminds me of Amy Grant’s “Lead Me On”, with that 80’s feel. And that is refreshing as it’s something different that we haven’t heard from Elizabeth before.
The final two tracks are “Don’t Give Up” and “Never Too Late”. “Don’t Give Up” was released as a bonus track on Do It Afraidin 2011, as a response to her students encouraging her to record songs that are musically and stylistically different to those recorded in her first 2 albums. The result is something that I think even artists like TobyMac, Group 1 Crew, Beckah Shae, Britt Nicole and other veterans of dance can be proud of! Lyrically, this song is as strong as any other, delving into feelings of self-worth and acceptance, as Elizabeth reassures us that by being true to ourselves and the unique person God intended us to be, we can know what we believe in and why, and know God loves us, and no one else can tell us otherwise. Thematically similar to the first song “Superstar”, the slew of electronic instruments works, and makes me want to dance; and seamlessly transitions into the closer “Never Too Late”. About how we’re never too late to try something new, and that God isn’t bound by time and ages, so it’s ok if we reach God’s will when we’re in the 2nd half of our life; Elizabeth gives us comfort and hope that God has a plan for us, even if it seems like we’re going nowhere. A song about defying expectations and beating the odds; with God on our side, it’s never too late for anything! An electronic track similar to “Don’t Give Up”, Elizabeth’s determination to make quality music, and her heart for Jesus, has translated into a brilliant album full of replay value! And hopefully a record label deal may not be that far around the corner!
With 3 music videos also included on the album (on the deluxe edition), in “I Love You”, “Don’t Give Up” and “Superstar”, Elizabeth South has released a fantastic album, with her hope for the album and for listeners outlined: “…I am encouraged when I hear from people who say my music touches them on some level, that it helps heal them and connects them to happiness and hope in a fresh way. I feel as if my voice was a special gift from the beginning, even as a little girl, and so I love to be able to share that gift with people who listen, so that the music and my voice can be a healing wind for them…If I can take my music to the larger world, then I will feel as if I have come full circle from being that little girl who just loved to sing to being the accomplished artist who is able to do what I was made to do…”. While every track may not be explicitly about Jesus, each track does talk about some realities of life and preconceptions of the world. Yet lyrically, Elizabeth is a great songwriter, and writes about each issue in a positive light, and subtly includes a reference to God in most songs. While many Christians will love this album (showing Elizabeth stepping out of her musical boundaries that were ‘established’ in her first two albums), it’s also evident through the inspirational subject matter and the ‘out-there’ music that Elizabeth will garner non-Christian fans too, which will be awesome! On a week where album release from Plumb, Salvador, Newsong and Hillsong UNITED, Elizabeth’s album may fly under the radar, but I encourage you all to take the plunge and buy this album, as it deserves to stand tall amongst the music veterans. Hopefully Elizabeth gets signed in the future (I believe that she should); and whatever the case, she should know that she has done many people proud! If you’ve never listened to Elizabeth South’s music before, I suggest you start with I Love You, and I guarantee, you’ll become mesmerised and transfixed like I was.
- Kiss Hello
- I Love You (duet with Vince Gill)
- Let Love Shine
- Don’t Give Up
- Never Too Late
- “I Love You” video
- “Superstar” video
- “Don’t Give Up” video
Favourite Tracks: Superstar, Change, Let Love Shine, Don’t Give Up, Never Too Late