of Not Afraid
Reviewed by Tracy Darlington
Not Afraid by Stephanie Smith
"This upbeat album is sure to have you rolling down the windows in your car and turning up the volume ... a sure-to-be hit cd with a great message for teen girls..."
Stephanie Smith is a new Gotee artist who’s song “Superstar” hit the airwaves with a boom. Since then she’s also released several other singles including the title cut from her album “Not Afraid”. Her music is uplifting and energetic, and her positive message is just what the world needs.
It wasn’t until her senior year in high school that Smith became passionate about music. As she laid it before the Lord Stephanie felt released to pursue it for His glory. “This album is really an autobiography of the last year or two of my life,” she says. “It’s the best first record I could make, and I hope people will be encouraged and inspired in their walk with Jesus when they listen to this project.”
Add this cd to your playlist and you are in for a treat. The album opener “Beauty” could be the perfect theme for a girls’ conference like Revolve, talking about how God loves us no matter what we look like on the outside. The pop beat and positive lyrics make it hard to sit still to when it’s at full volume - “Hello, world Here I am today. I didn’t feel like putting on make up, is that okay?”
“Love out Loud (written by Stephanie, Britt Nicole, and others) is quick paced with its rock and roll rhythm. And Smith showcases her fun side in “Over It” - it’s almost as if Alyssa, Lauren, and Becca of Barlowgirl have joined her on this number.
Stephanie’s favorite song on the cd is “In My Eyes.” And it’s easy to see why, because it’s the most rock oriented cut in the mix. She sings of how we can look into a person’s eyes and know exactly what they are feeling. The worshipful ballad “You Alone” immediately brings to mind Natalie Grant’s hit “Held” - it’s a mellower moment on this mostly pop/rock album.
Smith’s vocals are a cross between Sara Acker (Inhabited) and Brooke Barrettsmith, with a sprinkle of Krystal Meyers thrown in for good measure. The finishing touch to the project, “First Words”, describes what Stephanie was feeling on the day she met her father for the first time. Every cut has Smith’s prints all over it - she co-wrote every one.
This upbeat album is sure to have you rolling down the windows in your car and turning up the volume, although it would have been nice if “Not Afraid” were longer than 39 minutes in length. Stephanie’s not exactly breaking new ground here, but her enthusiasm and positive lyrics make her music a cut above the rest.
Overall, Smith has delivered a sure-to-be hit cd with a great message for teen girls, but any contemporary music lover will enjoy it . Can’t wait to see what she has up her sleeve next time around.
Tracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.