Reviewed by Tracy Darlington
Redeemer by Nicole C.
"Best of album showcases Nicole's finest."
I first saw Nicole C. Mullen on a tour in the early 90s when she was opening for the Newsboys, who were opening for Petra (would that have made her the opening-opening?). Back then, she was simply known as "Nicole" and her limited set included athletic dance moves and Mullen's own rapping. Since that time she's become a household name in Christian music with 20 Grammy and Dove Award nominations to her credit (including a Dove win for penning the Jaci Velasquez hit "On My Knees").
This 17-song "best of" disc offers a wide variety of cuts from Nicole C. Mullen, Talk About It, Live from Cincinnati - Bringin' It Home, and Nicole's most recent, Everyday People. Also featured is "Always Love You" from the End of the Spear soundtrack, and fans should enjoy live versions of "Redeemer" and "Call on Jesus". Listeners will follow Mullen's journey as she evolves from her safe debut album to Everyday People's fuller, more urban sound.
Redeemer runs the gamut of Mullen's musical styles. From the groovy gospel feel of "Message to Ya", the tribal dance rhythms of "Freedom" (just try sitting still to this one), the smooth R&B found on "Without You," or the reflective worship of "Call on Jesus," the album is a well-rounded sampling of her talents. The selections showcase her vocal range, and you'll cruise the full spectrum of musical moods with her in this all-encompassing work.
Fans of Mary Mary and Out of Eden will find themselves dancing to the beats of several songs, but there are enough slower tempo cuts to appeal to those who enjoy a more reverent feel to their music. Nicole C. Mullen is an artist to keep on watching, and Redeemer will be a great addition to your collection.
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.