Jaci Velasquez

Beauty Has Grace

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Beauty Has Grace Review

by Matt Collar

Having been called the Christian Christina Aguilera in the past, CCM pop artist Jaci Velasquez moves on from such saccharine comparisons on the indie rock-inflected Beauty Has Grace. Sounding more like ex-Mazzy Star vocalist Hope Sandoval than any teen pop diva, Velasquez seems more influenced by such alternative rock acts as Ivy and the Cardigans on her sixth English-language release. As much of modern Christian rock has attempted to more closely mirror the aesthetics of the secular music world, one might cynically view Velasquez's move to a more rock-oriented sound as a play to score fans of such faux-punk-pop stars as Ashlee Simpson and Avril Lavigne. However, as Velasquez enters her twenties, it makes sense that her own taste in music would mature, and given the sheer quality of these songs -- the best of which were co-penned by Velasquez -- one can only assume that this was an organic and positive change. Similarly, the Christian themes running through the album prove Velasquez has stayed true to her CCM roots while making an album any fan of melodic alternative pop could enjoy regardless of his or her spiritual leanings.

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