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Rachael Lampa

Word Records There comes a point in every artist’s life when they need to go beyond simply scratching the surface and truly invest every ounce of their soul in the creative process. Though powerhouse vocalist Rachael Lampa’s consistently belted out reflections from the heart, this self-titled outing finds her letting loose with no holds barred abandon, upping the expository level and relating to her audience with new found candor and maturity.

For the first time in the 19-year-old singer’s career, Lampa’s taken to the songwritingcircuit where she’s co-penned each of her new disc’s eleven tracks. It’s the latest inventive chapter of a career that’s already sold over 600,000 CDs between 2002’s Kaleidoscope and the 2000 debut Live For You (which have subsequently spawned the number one singles “Blessed,” “Shaken,” “God Loves You” and “Live For You”).

“The events of my life in the past year have really prepared me for this record and shown me the importance of simple honesty in life, and in this case, my music,” says the four time Dove nominee and winner of 2001’s Inspirational Recorded Song of the Year for “Blessed.” “I have always had journals and collected my thoughts in ways of writing. After a while, it’s hard not to talk about the things that I feel so strongly about and how crucial faith is in everything.”

Indeed the last few years of Lampa’s life have been a whirlwind, filled primarily with non-stop touring and the sessions for this recording, though she also found time to graduate high school and move out on her own. Despite living a seemingly different lifestyle in the recording industry and practically growing up in the spotlight, this songbird has always maintained a decorum of normalcy.

“The lifestyle change came very gradually for me,” she notes of the ride that began at 14-years-old. “It has truly been a time of transition for me as I have recently graduated high school and moved from Colorado to Tennessee. I am feeling the weight of stepping out on my own and have had chance to reflect on these changing times in my writing.”

With Lampa’s maturing in stature and spirituality has come her increased realization of God ultimately being in control of her destiny- from the triumphant highs to the disappointing lows. In fact, this idea of surrender despite one’s circumstances is the focal point on Rachael Lampa, during which the artist truly commits to heartfelt expression and vulnerable exposition.

“These last few years have shown me how truly in control God really is,” says the singer/songwriter. “The fact is we can't just get by with merely accepting or believing it, but we actually have to actively embrace it. We should also love the fact that God loves us enough to put us through the valleys because we can only get closer to Him when we accept His challenges. Eventually we’re going to come out on top, but we should love every minute it takes to get there!”

Obviously, bearing her soul to that degree is risky business, but it’s a side Lampa knew she needed to reveal. Having such a candid personal assessment and openended analysis of her lessons learned are amongst the reasons the disc is self-titled.

“I let my heart go and spilled it all out there,” she boldly proclaims. “I was a little nervous at first putting such a big piece of me on this record, but I definitely wanted to communicate what God has taught me and how He continues to shape me”.

Being in the same shoes as the majority of her audience also gives Lampa a sense of genuineness and authenticity when addressing a wide range of issues outside her immediate scope. Beyond just the primary focus of God’s provision, Lampa dives into issues ranging from the effect of divorce on young people to hopelessness and suicide to loosing one’s identity in favor of following the crowd. All of those have hit close to Rachael’s heart, as they’ve affected family and friends, while the examination of such weighty subjects is sure to provide solace to all those suffering.

“Issues like suicide and divorce have become so much more real to me lately, whereas once they were just statistics,” observes Lampa. “I’ve seen it with so many people around me and it’s really hit my heart.”

Along with the increased intensity surrounding the project’s subjects comes an elevation in sonic diversity and instrument choices. At times such weighty topics are matched by a more aggressive pop/rock fusion, ranging from the bouncy thumps of “Rubber House” to the chunky guitar jangle of “Outrageous” to the horn slapped ska of “Being Alive.” Such stylistic differentiation (along with the simmering pedal steel soul accompaniment by Robert Randolph on “Good Life,” the piano plated ballad “You Never Know” and the funky bass wallops of “Room For Me”) come with the collaborative help of GRAMMY award winning producer Tommy Sims (Eric Clapton, Amy Grant, Michael McDonald, CeCe Winans).

“When we first met, his brother was my drummer and he came around to rehearsals,” says Lampa of Sims. “It first started as us being acquaintances and then buds, but when the label first suggested we work together, I said with a laugh ‘Am I worthy of that?’ Musically I’ve definitely grown so much and wanted to experiment with rock, funk and everything in between. I’ve loved what he’s worked on in the past. We met right on the same page from the time we sat down to write and plan for this project and we had an absolute blast making it!”

But more than flawlessly executing a blueprint and excelling with cutting edge musicianship or ambitious experimentation, Lampa wants the self-titled record to be a spirit stirring experience destined to lead listeners down a Godly path. Having a crystalline voice over glistening arrangements and gliding progressions is merely icing on the cake in an overall winning package.

“I’m so excited to get out there and sing these new songs and share this part of my heart,” Lampa confirms. “I want people to see that this is just a snapshot of my life and I just happened to be making a record at this time. I feel that it is my call to share what I have learned and experienced and how God has revealed himself in all of it.”

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