Album Review: Graceland by Kierra Sheard

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Kierra Sheard is without a doubt one of the leading female vocalists in the Gospel music genre. Her new album is like a first class ticket straight into “Graceland.” On these 12 freshly recorded tracks, we are accompanied into a world where God loves us in spite of our innumerable flaws. We go into the presence of what it means to be saved from the fire of the dragon when we feel helpless. We engage in a world where we interact with grace-filled human beings who are prepared to sacrifice the little that they have for the good of others, and where others are treated not as they should be but as how God would treat us, with undeniable love.

The air of “Graceland” doesn’t feel jammed, withdrawn or even old-fashioned. Instead, using the best of endless choices of today’s hip hop beats, slamming heavy rock guitar melodies, contemporary pop songs, and smooth as ever R&B grooves, Sheard together with brother/producer J. Drew Sheard and other contributors give this record an encompassing youthful edge without for a moment discarding the greater matters of faith.

This album was well worth the wait. I absolutely loved it. It spoke not only to my ears but to my heart. Well done, Kierra. My favorite song on the album is without a doubt ‘Flaws’. This song was, to me, a personal and emotional testimony. The lyrics in this song are absolutely beyond beautiful. I think I fell in love with it when I actually heard her sing it live last October in an event that I was attending. She was so in tune with what she was saying, and it felt as if she was singing from her very soul. The atmosphere was so powerful that day. I literally felt God in the room. It was honestly like no other experience I’ve ever had before.

Another song that I loved from the album was ‘Save Me’. Here, Kierra was speaking to God and asking Him to change her life and save her from herself. To me, it was like a cry for help. She seemed like she knew that the lifestyle she was living would not be pleasing in God’s eyesight. This song related to me in so many ways. It really caused me to open my eyes to a lot of things that were going on in my life. I realized that I needed to take some time out and have a talk with God. I needed Him to transform me and save me from the path of destruction that I was headed towards. This song truly blessed me and for that reason it will forever remain one of my favorites from the album.

‘Moving Forward’ was also a great song from this album. The beat of this song was very contemporary and nothing like the old, boring church music. This song shares Kierra’s experiences of God. It is a song of declaration and the strong vocals are sure to get listeners to ascend with boldness, leaving the past behind and moving forward. It will keep your head bobbing while also compelling you to listen to the lyrics of the song.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that “Graceland” is Kierra’s outright best work, but it is definitely in the top three. It was an amazing album. I realize that it’s not easy writing Gospel songs aimed towards today’s youth in a world where negativity is so prominent. I admire Kierra for boldly stepping out of the box and bringing the gospel to the next generation. Each song takes you on a journey as she shares about imperfections, love and life’s challenges, but holds tight to her faith in Jesus. I would definitely recommend this album to anyone. It is truly a great investment. I give it 9 stars out of 10 stars.

Renita Lacy is a Graduating Senior Broadcast/Mass Communications major. She will be a staff writer for The Campus Chronicle for the 2016-2017 school year.

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