Laying It Down for Jennifer Knapp
By: Stacey T., Grade 12, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB
Photo taken from the Jennifer Knapp website
For those who own Jennifer Knapp's debut album Kansas, Lay It Down, only increases your love for the music. The albums are similar in style, but Lay It Down is definitely more sophisticated. Music like this landed her a spot in the Lilith Fair Tour. This CD has the same folk-rock style we have come to know and love, with more complicated melodies and a more mature sound.
The first song on the album, A Little More, starts with acoustic guitar, and gradually more instruments, such as strings, keyboard and drums join to create a full sound to accompany Jennifer's beautiful vocals.
Jennifer's style is like nothing else I've ever heard. Her voice holds no limits as she pours out her heart through her lyrics. The ever present acoustic guitar gives the songs a folk feel, while the drums and electric guitar have a distinct rock sound. Her songs range in style from folk, to blues, to rock. Each song is dynamic in it's own way.
Jennifer always has some sort of message in her songs. In the song All Consuming Fire, Jennifer contemplates life and why God loves her. Using some of the names of God, she tells herself that she really is important, despite how powerful God is.
Jennifer really shines in the Shawn Colvin song Diamond in the Rough which she has artfully adapted to suit her own style. Her voice plays with the lyrics as though what she is saying really happened to her. The mandolin adds excitement to the song as well.
Sparrow Record's Margaret Becker joins Jennifer in the track When Nothing Satisfies. Their voices blend perfectly in this song about depending on God for satisfaction. The soft vocals build into a powerful chorus as they come to the conclusion.
The last song on the album, Peace, is a beautiful ballad. The combination of Jennifer's voice and her acoustic guitar actually gives you a feeling of peace as you listen. It is a song of hope and contentment despite the circumstances of life.
Jennifer Knapp does not leave you disappointed in Lay it Down as so many other artists do with their sophomore album. Jennifer just takes what she has and stretches and uses it to wow you again and again. I find no faults in the edgy vocals and thoughtful poetic lyrics of Lay It Down.
I give it two thumbs up. If you don't own the album Lay it Down by Jennifer Knapp, you should.