(21 May 2000) Alternative singer / songwriter Nichole Nordeman's second
album, entitled This Mystery (Sparrow Records (USA), 2000), is a
wonderful followup to her debut album Wide Eyed which sold in excess
of 130,000 units. The latest project from the acclaimed recording artist,
is comprised of ten heartfelt songs spanning various secular themes
and was produced by Mark Hammond with executive producer Grant Cunningham.
Nichole writes about the inspiration behind the album, "Ms L'Engle has given me a
gentle nudge to remember and reclaim the innocence, naivete, and mystery of
my faith long before it got lost in the land of adult reasoning." The new
album will appeal to a variety of female vocalist enthusiasts and will
certainly enthrall Michelle Tumes (review)
fans. Soundbites and additional information are available at the artist's
The album's title track is an alternative rocking ballad accompanied
by contemporary electronic arrangements balancing tension and release.
Evocative lyrics are sung emotionally and sensitively and backing harmony
vocals are effective at additing texture.
The ballad "Tremble" has a slow rocking tempo and thick instrumental
arrangements add to the accessibility of the track. "Help Me Believe"
is a slow and sensitive jazzy coffee-house ballad that illustrates the
sensitivity of the artist's vocal delivery. Guitar riffs within the
instrumental bridge and the layers of harmony vocals are most notable.
The sensitive yet moving ballad "Home" continues in a similar
vein with Nichole's soaring vocals leading the way through the track.
Male and female backing vocals create a lovely texture in the chorus
as the song builds to its instrumental splendour.
"Fool For You" is a highly accessible and catchy pop-rock tune blending
a soaring lead vocals with harmony backing layers and a lush piano-laced
instrumental arrangement. The dancy number "Lookin' At You (Lookin' At
Me)" builds on the theme with thicker instrumentation. "As" continues to
build on this theme taking it to almost R&B proportions with allusions
to other popular artists becoming quite evident in the chorus.
The soft and slow ballads "Small Enough" and "Home" are carried by
Nichole's sensitive solo delivery. "Small Enough" is joined by only
slight male and female backing vocal harmonies. Harmonies in "Home"
are joined by lovely instrumental arrangements and build the depth of
the song's sound. The ballad "Every Season" is performed with almost
orchestral instrumental arrangements. Nichole's vocals are presented
sweetly and sensitively and are modulated with the power necessary
to delivery the lyrical message. It is a lovely and likely will be
an award-winning track!
The production quality of This Mystery is superb and evidence of
the labels significant support of their priority developing artist.
A nomination for the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year and another
from the GMA in 2000 for Female Vocalist of the Year are indicative of
this artist's growing notariety. You can read further reviews, hear
soundbites and order This Mystery from amazon.com
here. Be sure to check out Wide Eyed as well; you can find further
information, soundbites and order it from amazon.com
here. Nichole's new album is worth a journey and
is certainly a very nice listen!