The thing that really sticks out to me when I put this latest album from the Houston-based blue-eyed soul man is the tight, rhythmic sound of the drums. Reliable bass and perfectly timed hi-hats rumble and pitter patter through the first track, setting up the tone for the whole album. Said first track also features the American rapper Lecrae, who gets his own spot in the bridge. "If I Ever Needed Grace" is a truly moving ballad about the grace of God. The vocals are very passionate and sorrowful at times which adds a great deal to the quality of the track. The title track is also something of a ballad, with dynamics to die for and more orchestral instruments. Lizi Bailey lends her vocal talent to track five, "Stay". Her voice blends nicely with the track and she harmonizes with Jimmy very effectively. Ultimately, the lyrics are the centre of the album and it's clear they're meant to be, and are skillfully crafted. They would really speak to people going through tough times, which really makes this album worth getting.
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Clear the Stage, the third album from Inpop artist Jimmy Needham, sees Needham paired with award-winning producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Laura Story) for his most compelling and vulnerable collection of songs to date.
As the title cut implies, Clear the Stage is a call to absolute dependence on God. From the lead single, If I Ever Needed Grace, to the anthemic Victory, the idea of acknowledging our need for Godís mercy and grace is woven like a thread throughout the album. Musically the album visits much that is familiar to fans of Needhamís previous albums but also pushes the envelope with songs like the funk-infused I Will Find You featuring guest vocals from Lecrae.