M PeterseditedPeters is lighthearted, even joyful, as she sings of life in Christ.

I Choose Jesus
Artist: Moriah Peters (www.moriahpeters.com)
Label: Reunion
Length: 10 tracks/33:44 minutes 

I Choose Jesus by Moriah Peters reminds me of my first love. A faith in Christ that is fresh and vital energizes these songs.

It makes me think of the mutual need that Christians of various maturities have for one another. It is good for those who have long been believers to be reminded by their younger counterparts of the simplicity that is in Christ. Obedience will always be essential, and these songs are all about making the right choices. G. K. Chesterton wrote, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” The lead adult contemporary single, “I Choose Jesus,” is Peters affirming her allegiance to Christ despite difficulties.

Where she distinguishes herself is in the notes of whimsy heard on some tracks. One example is “Sing in the Rain,” which is punctuated by lone piano chords that alternately strike like large drops of rain falling on a roof. The mood translates to verse as she begins to sing, “If I could fly like a bird/Singing songs to the world then I would.” Peters is lighthearted, even joyful, as she sings of life in Christ.

That’s not to say there are not a few more somber, challenging moments. “No Shame” is a beautifully understated ballad for the bruised reed, the smoldering wick, for the one who has fallen and feels hopeless.

“Glow” has an otherworldly feel. The opening lines draw attention to a landscape, “So many lights on in this city/The people still walk in the dark.” The challenge in the chorus is: “We have His light, what are we waiting for.”

Nine of the ten tracks are written in part by Peters with help from the likes of Cindy Morgan, Seth Moseley and producer Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Steven Curtis Chapman, Kari Jobe). The musicians are some of the finest in the industry.

My personal favorite, “Bloom,” is made even better by a lyric video that highlights the hopeful and encouraging words. It’s a sublime, slightly ethereal combination of verse and sound. If I had to summarize the thought in three words, it would be in phrases like: You are beautiful. Keep the faith. Give God time.

This is a fine debut that calls to mind the first release by an artist that shares some of the same ethnicity (Peters is of Mexican-French heritage), who has gone on to bloom in her own way. I write of Jaci Velasquez, who inspired Peters to become a Christian singer. Until she heard Velasquez, Peters thought she had a “froggy” voice. On the contrary, her sound and style is reminiscent of her inspiration. She is a winsome combination of purity and craft.

Michael Dalton


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