Reviewed by Ian Hayter
As you'll know from CR67, ZOEgirl are a three-girl band from the States who burst onto the CCM scene in 2000 with an eponymous debut album for Sparrow which sold over 300,000 units. Their infectiously sparky pop filled a niche in the Christian market for those who wanted a Britney Spears-type sound without the message and the lifestyle that accompanied it. At the beginning of this year, Alisa, Chrissy and Kristin released a second album, 'Life', which was also crammed full of memorable tunes and bubbly hooks. Now we have several of the tracks from 'Life' remixed and repackaged (and sent out to the shops in bucketloads, no doubt) with the disarmingly honest title 'Mix Of Life'. An attempt to take the sound and message of ZOEgirl to a different and wider audience - or a cynical marketing ploy? You can decide. But it does have to be said that this is a fine set of songs. The message, of course, remains the same, and is made explicit in the lyrics of songs like "I Believe", "With All My Heart" and "Anything Is Possible". These are girls with God at the very centre of their lives and the exuberance of their music (mixed or remixed) lets you know that it's a joyful way to live. I particularly enjoyed the extended version of "Plain", with its plea to teen girls to resist the temptation to mould their appearance to prevailing fashion and to have a bit of faith in the way God made them. If formulaic pop (with a dash of R'n'B and more than a passing nod in the direction of dance) is your thing, then you won't find much better than this anywhere at the moment.
Ian Hayter lives in Lichfield where he helps lead a Baptist/URC congregation, looks after three lively children and plays euphonium in a Morris Dance band.
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||I Believe (Trip Rock Mix)
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