Artist:  Jaime Jamgochian
Title:  Above the Noise
Label:  Centricity Records

If worship leader/singer/songwriter Jaime Jamgochian felt any pressure in following up her well-received debut Reason to Live, she hid it well.

Above the Noise comes across as very confident in every way, even bringing to mind comparisons with significant classic worship artist Twila Paris. Twila is still using her mantle, having just released her own album just this past December, but when she’s ready to pass it along, Jaime Jamgochian’s heartfelt accessible worship makes her an obvious contender.
 
Produced by Nathan Nockels, this sophomore effort has more of a pop feel than the debut, with occasional rock overtones. Jamgochian wrote or co-wrote seven of the twelve tracks, and chose very wisely on the remaining five. Opening with the piano-driven pop of “Giving It All to You,” a pulsating song of surrender, she is first reminiscent of Paris on the straightforward yet expressive praise track, “God Unchanging.” One of Jamgochian’s greatest strengths is her tendency to write lyrics dripping with God-centered worship and biblical references. “God Unchanging,” with its mesmerizing bridge of sincere adoration, features her strong pure vocal and a very vertically pointed message. Her vocals are warm and buttery as toast on “Amaze Me,” a track notable for its rich sonic touches and guitar accents over driving pop chords.
 
The first standout reveals Jamgochian’s heart clearly. “For You” cuts through the mixed motives that can confuse and adulterate our worship with focused lyrics:  “When no one’s listening/ I sing for You,” reminding us of Who it is all for. The Nichole Nordeman-penned track, “Heal the Wound,” a nuanced ballad presented with great tenderness, will work well for Jamgochian’s women-oriented ministry events. (She presently works with the Girls of Grace Tours). While most of the tracks stay within a mid-tempo range, several seem to be written with Sunday mornings in mind. Bouncy piano pop piece “For Your Glory” references Ecclesiastes’ well known passage on seasons, and the driving pop-rocker “Sing for Our God” is energetic and exuberant, given textured oomph by its thick instrumentation.
 
The closing three tracks move into deeper worship territory. Jamgochian’s vocal is lustrous and out front on the Annie Herring classic, “I Stand in Awe,” and prayerful piano ballad “Renew” is presented flawlessly. This track too will resound powerfully with congregations. Above the Noise closes with another sparkling piano ballad; “The Life I Live” brings it all down to basics: our lives are to be an offering of worship. This closer is once again Twila reminiscent, in terms of its simplicity, power and spiritual kick, a great way to go out. With Above the Noise, Jaime Jamgochian proves the sincerity and staying power of her strong worship chops.



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