- “We’re living in an hour where you and I are having to pioneer through some of the most challenging cultural and spiritual landscape we’ve ever encountered.”
Christy Nockels returns with the four song EP Valor. This precedes the release of her first full-length album in five years called This is the Hour. A three-time GMA Dove Award-winning artist, Christy explores the theme of drawing deeper into the heart of God.
Christy stays true to her passion to help lead others to connect with God, as first seen in her time With Watermark, the CCM duo founded in 1998 out of Houston Texas with her husband Nathan. With regard to the Valor EP, and the forthcoming This is the Hour album, Christy says, “We’re living in an hour where you and I are having to pioneer through some of the most challenging cultural and spiritual landscape we’ve ever encountered.” This is true and evidence points to it becoming more challenging in the years to come. Like a healing balm, Valor points to the comfort and strength we can only find in God.
The Valor EP mostly falls into the Christian art silo, with the song Come Magnify being an outlier as a corporate worship song. As Christy explores the theme of God’s comfort, the EP serves to edify and encourage the believer in their daily lives. As these four songs will be included on the full-length album, I am encouraged and can’t wait to see the full offering.
The EP comes out of the gate with the title song Valor, that leans into the country genre; the other songs follow suit, but also delve into a more mainstream CCM sound as well. With Come Magnify, Christy throws a strike, right across the plate for a modern worship song. I can see it being sung widely in many venues.
Production and Music
The title track Valor opens with a muted guitar strum, creating a tonal rhythmic element, an aspect of the acoustic guitar rarely utilized. Most notably, Christy uses the bridge to point to the core of the song very effectively. It carries the song into its climax, giving is a great arc. This is followed by Christ in Me, an easy listening country tune that speaks to Christ being our only genuine hope at Glory, fulfillment, and Joy.
As mentioned before, Come Magnify is an effective worship song. It is a call to, “Come magnify the Lord with me.” With two short verses and a chorus making up the first half of the song, the second half repeats between two stanzas. Although I usually rail against over repetition in worship songs, Christy creates space for worship here, as seen in Revelations 4:8 with the four Cherubim at the throne of God repeating, “Holy, Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.”
The last song struck a special cord with me as a poignant, gentle, and insightful song. The song Home has warmth and comfort, like tucking into a piece of sweet cornbread with melting butter, around a table with those you love. It ends with, “Further up and farther in, I’m coming home to you again,” a reference to C. S. Lewis’s Aslan in his Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis wrote this as a call to keep one’s eyes on the heaven that awaits us.
The songs capture Christy’s prayerful heart. She says, “My prayer is that these songs foster a deep reconnection of our hearts to God in this hour in a way that helps us cultivate His presence in our daily lives in a real and fresh way.” I think she accomplishes this, staying theologically true and sharing insights from her own journey of faith.
Solid offering. I look forward to the full album.
Some songs bump close together in sound and feel.
More from Christy Nockels
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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.