- This album falls in the category of Christian art. Many of the songs come from a very personal place for Nichole who experienced physical challenges early on in life.
The newest artist at Centricity Music, Katy Nichole, releases her debut album, Jesus Changed My Life. Inspired by challenges and victories, the twenty-two-year-old singer, songwriter and worship leader out of Arizona broke onto the Christian music scene in 2022 with her single In Jesus’ Name (God of Possible). This was followed by the single God Is In This Story. Nichole teamed up with Grammy Award winner Jonathan Smith and Dove Award winner Benji Coward on Jesus Changed My Life, and with Grammy nominated songwriter Jeff Pardo on Please. About the song Please Nichole’s says, “This song came from the deepest part of my soul.”
This album falls in the category of Christian art. Many of the songs come from a very personal place for Nichole who experienced physical challenges early on in life. The production is solid with the songs coming in at the algorithm-friendly three to under four-minute mark. Her overall sound is mainstream and fits well into Centricity Music’s stable of artists like Lauren Daigle and Patrick Mayberry.
The tracks In Jesus’ Name (God of Possible), God Is In This Story, and Living Proof have a standard CCM sound. Tracks like Things I Wish I Would Have Said, Jesus Thank You, and By The Grace of God have a decidedly country flavor. The song Please is a great anthem with a big chorus that is easy to sing along to.
Centricity Music offers the first track, In Jesus Name (God of Possible), as the feature track of the album, along with Please, and God Is In This Story. But I found the two ending tracks of the album to be the most powerful. They may not get as many downloads and radio play, but they have heart and bring truth like water to a parched soul.
Take It To The Cross starts with a marching snare and toms under simple chords on the piano and other reserved elements. As it moves along it develops a country flavor with a nice swing. The song’s theme of taking our burdens to the cross is strong and an uncomplicated testimony to God’s love. The line, “Stop thinking that you’re too far gone, you can’t outrun a love that strong,” stands out as an example of this. The bridge features a refrain from Nothing But The Blood of Jesus, giving historic depth to the piece.
Gentle and emotive, the track Turn To Jesus makes you stop what you’re doing and just listen. The Chorus starts with the line, “I turn to Jesus, the one who knows my name. He walks with me and talks with me and tells me I am safe.” In unsettling times, this truth brings great comfort. The bridge goes into the hymn Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, a classic refrain that has brought comfort and courage to millions since it was penned in 1922 by Helen Howarth Lemmel.
Most songs on the album are edifying and solid, Take It To The Cross, and Turn To Jesus standing out in that. On the flip side, the song In Jesus’ Name will get theological pushback from the more biblically orthodox and theologically conservative. Since Centricity Music says the song is a representation of the spirit of the album, it is worth looking into (and yes, I know I will get angry emails for what comes next, but what can you do?).
There are a few lyrical issues in the song, the best example being the first line of the first verse, “I speak the name of Jesus over you.” This terminology is primarily used on the more charismatic side of the modern church and in churches leaning into the New Apostolic Reformation Movement. The belief is that the name Jesus – the word itself – has power, or somehow invokes power that requires divine action, especially if there is “enough faith.” Confusion on this belief isn’t new, just read the story of the Seven Sons of Sceva in Acts 19 (yikes!).
The saving, healing, protecting, justifying, redeeming power of God lives in the Person who is the Son of God, and Jesus is His name. There can be no mistaking that. It is unclear in which context Nichole is using the phrase, but the reality of rising contradictory theologies regarding the Holy Spirit, miracles, modern day apostles and prophets, makes this an issue in the modern-day church.
Nichole has put out a good first album that will do well. Her track history with several singles since 2022 shows she has a strong following that will only grow. It will be great to see this young worship leader grow.
Great use of old hymns.
Be careful with lyrics.
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Christopher Watson is an author of six books, both fiction and non-fiction. He is also a musician and composer with a B.A. in Music from Azusa Pacific University. For several years Christopher led worship at The Springs Church while attending Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas Texas. He's been involved with worship in a number of churches in California and the Pacific Northwest both as a musician and in production and technology. Now he lives and writes in Washington State with his amazing wife, wonderful daughters, and highly intelligent dog, Ellie Mae.