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Jekalyn Carr’s “I Believe God”

Strutting from the silence with a dizzying rhythm that is too slow to be at once overwhelming – but too strong to be ignored – Jekalyn Carr’s new single “I Believe God” starts with a deceptive surrealism that will soon be dispelled in the name of a straightforward balladic attack indicative of true gospel integrity. Carr doesn’t want to hold back from us in any way in this single, and while this isn’t the first chance she’s had to fire off some incredible melodies in the studio, this performance has to rank among the best in its genre for those I’ve had the chance to review in April. She’s playing for keeps, and that’s clear even in a casual listening session with “I Believe God.”  

There’s as much to say about the melodic instrumental element in this track as there is the lead vocal, and if you take into account just how powerful the singing here is, that’s no small statement for any critic to make. The foundation reflects a lot of the fragility that comes to us only in an implied poeticism within the lyrics, and by cutting out linguistics from the conveyance of this specific emotion, I think “I Believe God” sounds all the more multifaceted and multi-interpretive for it. There are some passions that words simply can’t get across to us on their own, and this was a situation in which Jekalyn Carr had to use whatever weaponry was at her disposal rather than one specific attribute in her war chest.  

Whether you’re listening to “I Believe God” full blast or at a more moderate volume, there’s a lot of texture in the striking we get out of the percussion and bass that, from where I sit, definitely could have been exploited just a little bit more than they already were in this mix. I get why Carr would want to avoid all of the pitfalls that come with being overindulgent inside of the recording studio, but at the same time, I’d like to see her let her hair down a little more and get experimental with the compositional cornerstones that comprise her most provocative performances. This will make for an even better song live, and if we’re lucky, I’ll have the chance to be proven right on that point in the near future.  

“I Believe God” doesn’t tell those of us who have been following Jekalyn Carr for a minute anything about her artistry that we wouldn’t have already known from listening to her work in previous divine releases, but with that said, it’s still one heck of a fine Christian soundtrack to the spring season this year. Carr has talent in all the right departments for a young gospel singer/songwriter intent on making a big impact on her scene and even that of the international market, and if she keeps making music as incredible as “I Believe God” is, she won’t be able to evade the stardom that will inevitably come her way. She’s onto something beautiful here, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. 

Mindy McCall



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