Review Date: 11/19/2014
Review By: Jessica Morris
Release Date: 9/26/2014
Rating: [usr 8]
Arizona local Tiffany Watkins has stepped into the music scene with her debut album Stronger, and from track one it is clear the Worship Pastor from Without Walls Christian Center delights in engaging people with their Savior. Opening with “Brave,” Tiffany’s voice is light and sweet for the pop/rock tune. Singing, “I will be brave, I will be strong, because I’ll never walk alone,” the addition of a male harmony adds a density to the chorus which lifts the strength of the message about the faithfulness of God. With a particularly cool electric guitar rift and a sneaky electro sound in the bridge, this song will surprise you amidst its heartfelt and sincere lyrics.
The piano and string based “Give Me Faith,” starts off soft and pretty. Through the use of electric guitar, we hear Tiffany’s passion come out and what began as a classical and melodic song turns into a soaring anthem. “To Know Your Love” is clearly a very personal worship track, and it gives us the opportunity to hear the best and most beautiful parts of Tiffany’s vocals. With the backing of piano quietly behind her, we hear the light and shade of her voice. As the song continues, the instrumentation increases into a heartfelt chorus about our longing for God. The most pivotal moments within this occur as Tiffany’s vocals go up a register, and we hear the layering of her voice in front of a full band.
Following on with “Not For a Moment,” Tiffany covers artist Meredith Andrews. While not an original, this track really highlights the strength in Tiffany’s voice. The passion and vocal control she possesses shine through, and she meets the well -known instrumentation and greets it as an old friend as she worships the Lord. Her boldness in doing so will encourage you to do the same. “Closer” is a cover of the worship track from Bethel, and she delivers a beautiful rendition of the song. The instrumentation in this track has to be mentioned as the quality of the electronic and bass elements in it are superb. And as she enters the chorus, the loveliness of Tiffany’s voice adds a feminine and strong facet to the song.
“Set Apart” is a stand out track on the album, and the soulful piano based ballad will remind you of a Brooke Fraser or Gabrielle Aplin tune. The sincerity that comes out in Tiffany’s voice when she strips her music back to the basics is breathtaking. There is no hype or full instrumentation in this song, just a classic and beautiful piano based melody that builds and is made lovelier with strings. In this vulnerable state, it feels like you meet Tiffany Watkins at her core. She is a woman with a devout love for God and whole-heartedly desires to honor him with her music. This honesty is utterly compelling. Finishing with “Arrive Before Winter,” an orchestral sound and minor chords paint a picture of the seasons in life where we struggle. Her soaring vocals in the chorus are pivotal, and it will leave you wanting more.
Tiffany Watkin’s Stronger is pretty, honest and vulnerable. When you peel back the powerful instrumentation, you reveal a vocalist who has a gift for worship and this album will delight you. You can get your copy of Stronger now.