- reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Feb
- Trust in Me Now
- I'll Stay
- Safe Place to Fail
- This One's For the Girls
- Only a Prayer Away
- Inside Out
At first blush, it doesn't seem like Fervent's latest girl group Cadia would be all that buzzworthy. Sure, best friends Courtney Myers and Tori Smith have gorgeous voices and empowering anthems that encourage girls to sexual purity and spiritually-focused lives. But haven't we heard that all before, thanks to the continued success of Rebecca St. James, ZOEgirl, and BarlowGirl over the years?
Yes, but Cadia's self-titled debut is still worth hearing. My snobbish music tendencies typically favor artists who write their own material, but hiring a talented team of Christian music's finest songwriter/artists (Nichole Nordeman, Cindy Morgan, Joy Williams, and Ian Eskelin) did these girls a world of good. The lyrics still reflect the heart of your average teenage listener, yet there's sophistication to warts-and-all confessions like "Safe Place to Fall" and "Inside Out" that belies the usual output in this genre.
Poetic insights are favored over simple, diary-like musings and pat answers. This helps the duo avoid recycled generalities to preach about self-esteem, whether it's a straightforward priority check like "Inside Out" (the theme song for the Revolve Tour) or an excellent guitar-pop reinterpretation of Martina McBride's country classic "This One's For the Girls." Stellar, singable tracks like "Radiate"—a surefire hit penned by Williams that emphasizes our need to be light in a dark place—and "Shadowfeet" makes Cadia a welcome role model for the teen-pop fans.
Of course, an encouraging message without the musical talent to support it would make for a pretty dull effort. Thankfully, these girls also have it in spades. Not since hearing Sarah Kelly's potent wail have I been so impressed with a female voice. From the moment the opening track kicks in, the emotive pipes of both Myers and Smith really capture your attention. All of which instantly elevates what could've been a lackluster effort into something both enjoyable and meaningful for the target audience and beyond.