Love Like This
By Debra Akins for GospelMusicChannel.com
With just one album under her belt until now, Ayiesha Woods has quickly accomplished a major feat, garnering a reputation as one of the few female Christian artists who isn't restricted by the confines of any one musical style or genre. With her 2006 debut, Introducing Ayiesha Woods, she established herself as one of the most promising new artists in the Christian and gospel music industry, earning a GRAMMY nomination (an amazing accomplishment for a first album) and a Dove Award nod for New Artist of the Year.
With her second Gotee Records release, Love Like This, Woods could have easily repeated the successful pattern she discovered the first time around and just offered more of the same. But she didn't, we are the happy beneficiaries of that decision. If you liked the first CD, you'll love the new one.
Produced by Chris Stevens (tobyMac, Group 1 Crew) and Jamie Moore (Mandisa, Falling Up), Love Like This stretches Woods both musically and as a songwriter. Accustomed to writing on her own, this time around she ventured out of her comfort zone a bit and collaborated with other musicians to create a collection of tracks that range stylistically from pop/rock and urban pop to traces of acoustic pop, alternative pop and soul. And not surprisingly, Woods pulls it off with apparent ease.
"I've always listened to music in different genres," she explains. "When it comes to writing music, I've never been one to just be comfortable with the same ol' same ol'."
For fans of straight-up pop music, there is plenty here, with songs like "Fight," "Because of You" and "Never," any of which could be a hit radio single. The innovative "Love Can't Wait," showcases Woods' growth as an artist, incorporating an understated alt-urban sound that explodes into a fierce pop/rock refrain about the urgency of love.
The breezy, carefree feel of "New Beginnings was inspired by new life experiences like first-time home ownership, while the waltz-like ballad "Take Me There" is accompanied by strings and Woods' soulful alto voice. One of the most nuanced tracks on the album is "Transparent," a telling reflection of how Woods wants to be known for the company she keeps.
Although she doesn't need the help, Love Like This should be the project that further proves Woods isn't just another urban-soul singer. Her appeal is much more broad than that box in which some will want to place her. With this well-crafted sophomore effort, Woods stakes her claim as one of Christian music's most eclectic artists to date.
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