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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Reason to Live

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Oct
Reason to Live
Sounds like … worshipful pop and uplifting inspirational music for followers of Watermark, Nicole Nordeman, Rita Springer and Point of Grace. At a glance … while Jamgochian is pleasing to the ear and soothing to the spirit, there's room for lyrical growth beyond the somewhat standard praise reflectionsTrack Listing Love Rains Down My King, My God Hear My Worship Reason to Live Glorious King Devoted Jesus, Light of the World You Are Lift Up the Name Love Irresistible All I Want Is You YouBonus Track: Heart of Heaven

Newcomer Jaime Jamgochian has a degree from the Berklee College of Music, where she sang background vocals for the likes of Carly Simon and other artists who came to campus. After graduation, she accepted an internship at The City Church in Seattle, which led to seven years as a worship leader for the youth group. Throughout that time, she was courted by Centricity Records A&R representative John Mays, who previously discovered Nichole Nordeman and Point of Grace. After signing on as the label's flagship artist—it's also the home to future records by downhere and Circleslide—she cut her debut disc Reason to Live.

Throughout the project, Jamgochian often connects with a beautiful voice and inspirational piano playing, especially in the easygoing pop of "Love Rains Down," the roots-rock tint of "Love Irresistible," and the ethereal "Devoted." Additional standouts include a jangly version of the Watermark-penned "Jesus, Light of the World" (with Nathan and Christy Nockels on background vocals) and the breezy ballad "Lift Up the Name," a radio-destined duet with Scott Krippayne.

Even with these strengths, there's still room to grow, most noticeably in the songwriting department. While clearly gifted as a worship leader, Jamgochian doesn't always translate with as much verve in her artistry due to the recycling of several commonalities and clich?s. Take for instance the title track, which features lines like "We lift your name on high/You are worthy, you are holy/Yes you are Jesus"—it's far from creatively compelling, and the message could've come in a much more imaginative packaging. Hopefully those wrinkles will be ironed out in future recordings, though at least Jamgochian is on the right track.

© Andy Argyrakis, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.