Rebecca St. James: Become aLIVE
By Lori D'Augostine
After more than 200 concert dates a year since '94, Rebecca St. James finally released her first live concert CD/DVD package, aLIVE in Florida (March 20). The DVD was filmed on the 2006 If I Had One Chance To Tell You Something Tour, and audio was captured from the same tour in Fort Myers, Florida.
The album opens like a rock concert with roaring cheers and the emphatic, "God Help Me" (2005) song. Moving into reflective worship, Rebecca extends her mic to the crowd in "Lamb of God" (2002).
The Grammy-winner guides us through a tour down memory lane with a re-appearance of classics like "Wait For Me" (2003). This purity song is re-mixed into an acoustic ballad, minus the big pop rock instruments in the original track.
"You Are Loved," (2005) a song inspired by a prodigal friend, is also an upgrade from its original version and then repeated at the end of the album as a dance/techno mix.
The DVD captures the essence of a Rebecca St. James concert experience with colorful light shows, video montages, and fast camera cuts. She performs practically the same roster on the CD and adds two music videos: "Forgive Me" and "God Help Me." An added feature on the DVD is a plug-in for Compassion International, the ministry Rebecca recently traveled to Rwanda with that inspired the song, "Beautiful Stranger" (2005).
Rebecca does not totally possess the spotlight in this project. She introduces the audience to her younger brothers, Joel and Luke, who help out with vocals. Expect to hear more from these boys, as they've been receiving some attention from record labels lately. "aLIVE in Florida" is more of a family affair with her brother Joel as producer, father David as executive producer, and sister Libby singing back-up oon "Blessed Be Your Name."
Overall, aLIVE in Florida highlights Rebecca's typical passionate faith and youthful, rock-out fervor like no other because of the DVD addition. This project helps you to see the "real" Rebecca and leaves you wanting more. Her fans might wish for more of her older classics like "God" and "Pray," but this does not take away from the liveliness of the album. Be prepared to keep on singing with her, "You make me come alive."
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