Overview 1. I'm Not Looking Down 2. With All My Soul 3. Prayer to Love 4. Something Beautiful 5. Tonight 6. When You Hold Me 7. Supernatural 8. Hold on to This Moment 9. This Love 10. Lay It Down
Record Label Word Entertainment
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 5.55" Width: 4.97" Height: 0.54" Weight: 0.2 lbs.
Release Date May 31, 2005
Publisher WORD ACCT# W41160193
ISBN 3901003215 EAN 9783901003219 UPC 080688633721
I've never been a real big fan of Jaci. I know some of the songs, and have a couple of her CDs, but by and large I've never really been into her; and, I admit, pretty much bought Beauty Has Grace sight unseen because of how good she looks on the cover. And then I listened to it.
I have never witnessed a musical transformation like this. Between albums, Jaci has gone from a (sorry to say) vapid pop singer with a merely average voice to a full fledged music goddess. Her vocals change from minute to minute: sometimes light and sexy (best example: "All My Soul"; listen to that and tell me her "yeah" isn't about the cutest thing you ever heard), but at times raw, edgy, tinged with a certain--something. (I hate to say anger, but, in her own words: "I found myself getting mad at a song because it wasn't coming out right. That's actually how a lot that singing came about.") From the very raw "When You Hold Me", to the catchy (and closest to her old poppy stuff like "Everytime I fall") "Reason To Believe", EVERY song on this album is good; and that's saying something when most modern CDs have maybe one or two good songs with a few "listenable" ones scattered about.
"I wanted...the rawness, and kind of the nakedness, of all the (vocal) imperfections," Jaci said in a 2005 interview--aptly titled "Raw Faith" (which, hopefully, puts to rest any theories on her losing her voice). She's no longer the CCM pop sensation she once was, though she should be; and she's huge in Latin America--with stuff that, I hate to say, is terrible; but the woman is young and enormously talented. If she focuses her energy on making another album with the quality and uniqueness of this, she will truely cement her place in musical history. Jaci Velasquez: This Beauty Has Grace.
Experimental, Inconsistent, Disappointing Jun 25, 2006
First, here are some general positives about Jaci Velasquez:
- She is a very gifted singer. Her vocal range is top-notch - definitely on par with Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera.
- She is beautiful. And unlike a previous reviewer, I do not consider the recognition of this attribute to be a sign of shallowness but rather a display of appreciation for feminine beauty. I like beautiful singing voices. I like beautiful women. There's no difference.
- She has great spiritual depth. Her music reflects key spiritual themes such as love, faith and joy.
Now, here's a critique of the CD:
I listened to all the music samples (as you can do as well) and only one song caught my attention - "Lay It Down". The other tracks have too much of a hard rock sound and were too experimental for my taste. But the song "Lay It Down" was different. It sounded more acoustic, more in the style of folk rock - a genre that reflects my personal preference in pop music.
I found the sound clip of "Lay It Down" to be intriguing because it reminded me of a hit song in the 1970's - Eric Carmen's "All By Myself", later covered by Celine Dion in 1996. "All By Myself" is a ballad having a soft, understated introductory verse with an explosive chorus. The sample clip of "Lay It Down" appears to be in the same mold. It has a soft, understated introductory verse; however, it seems to lack an explosive chorus.
Listen to the sample and hear it for yourself. The introductory verse is closing with the following lyrics:
"All of my hopes and my dreams and my best laid plans Are slowly slipping through my folded hands"
So far, so good. There's only a piano and a violin accompanying Jaci's soft vocals. Next, the song appears to be moving from the verse to the chorus and you hear the following lyrics:
"So I'm gonna lay it down I'm gonna learn to trust You now"
Now here's a problem. I am expecting to hear the beginning of an emotional outburst - an opportunity for a singer with the pipes of Jaci Velasquez to showcase her voice. But it is not forthcoming. Why?
This intrigued me and I wanted to hear the whole song but I did not want to purchase a CD for only one song. Luckily, I discovered that a compilation CD of Jaci Velasquez's best songs was released recently and it contained "Lay It Down". Great! I bought the CD - "On My Knees: The Best of Jaci Velasquez".
This is what I discovered after listening to "Lay It Down".
- The first time through the verse and the chorus, the song is definitely understated. We simply have the accompaninment of a piano and a violin with Jaci's soft vocals.
- The second time through the verse and the chorus, a drum beat is introduced and Jaci begins to let some emotion out beginning in the middle of the verse and when the song moves into the chorus a complete emotional outburst occurs. But somewhat to my dismay, this is not the same voice that I am expecting from Jaci Velasquez. Her voice was more raspy and raw (actually, it was sounding more like Demi Moore or Tara Reid, not that that is necessarily bad). Furthermore, she appeared to be struggling.
Is this the same voice that was soaring effortlessly through the stratosphere on songs such as "On My Knees", "Speak For Me", and "Adore"? Is Jaci Velasquez losing her voice?
I don't know but I find it very difficult to imagine that a young woman in her mid-20's is losing her voice. She is entering her prime. Barring a health issue, this just doesn't happen.
"Lay It Down" is actually a pretty good song. In fact, I am almost of the opinion that it may be her best. I certainly find myself listening to this song more than any of her others.
"Lay It Down" has the same message as the Beatles' classic "Let It Be". The words are different but both songs share the same sentiment. Actually, now that I think of it...they do share a couple of words in common...the words "let it be". Here are the closing lyrics:
"I'm gonna let it be, I'm gonna let it go I'm gonna lay it down"
The essential lesson being conveyed is learning to "let go and let God" - a profound spiritual insight. Something that each of us here is learning.
This song is heartfelt and gut-wrenching. And though her voice is struggling through it, the song, nevertheless, works out its magic.
I gave this CD 2 stars because I think Jaci Velasquez is attempting to redefine her music style and has not succeeded. Interestingly enough, her best sound was her first CD - Un Lugar Celestial (A Heavenly Place). Bring back the spanish/flamenco guitar and develop a more acoustic sound. In my opinion, the acoustic sound is more spiritual. Keep the piano and electric bass guitar but dispense with the hard rock electric guitar and synthesized sound effects. Develop a Latin folk rock sound with an element of jazz. Hire a good saxophonist or a trumpet player. Emphasize ballads. That should do the trick.
Consistent and great! Aug 22, 2005
Like many other people, I had read several online reviews of this CD which stated this was a new direction for Jaci; more alternative even.
I disagree! It sounds similar to `Unspoken' from 2003 and `Jaci Velasquez' from 1998. Yes, a little edginess creeps into some tracks like the lovely, grunge-y `Something beautiful' and `When you hold me', but songs like `I'm not looking down' (with its distinctive guitar riff) and `With all my soul' (sounding a bit like Natalie Imbruglia) sound like her other stuff. Sunny sounding, catchy, upbeat pop/rock songs.
That's not to say this isn't a good CD, in fact it is GREAT! What we get here are catchy pop/rock tunes, guitars pushed to the fore, and Jaci's soft, breathy, smoky vocals. A slightly European sound.
She actually sounds raw and raspy on songs like the brilliant tender ballad `Lay it down' (about letting go and trusting God; one of the standouts) and the Alanis sounding grunge rocker `When you hold me' with shimmery sounding guitars. Some people have said her voice is deteriorating but I love the earthy sound. Besides, she doesn't sing/sound like this on any other songs.
`Tonight' is a catchy upbeat duet with Michael Clarke (don't know who he is but he has a great voice). `Prayer to love' is a pleasant mid tempo rocker. I love the mid tempo rocker `Reason to believe' with melancholic sounding guitar and a sudden break. Another standout.
`Supernatural' and `This love' (the album gets its name from a line in this song) are beautiful ballads, perfectly showcasing her fantastic vocals. In God's eyes we're all the same/this love is for everyone. True!
10 songs but not a single duff track among them.
Recorded in London, England, (explains the slight European sound) and featuring 6 Jaci co writes, the songs take a bit of repeated playing to grow but another great CD from Jaci Velasquez.
Simply the best Jul 27, 2005
Everybody has different points of view, and mine is THIS CD IS AWESOME!, Jaci knows how to evolve and give us something totally different and very touchin' lyrics. I think you should buy it if you love Christian music, all Jaci CD's are MUST HAVE!.
the other side if jaci the good side that is Jun 15, 2005
let me go by saying this i am a jaci velasquez fan for years ever since she came out in 1996...ok lets get one thing straight..THIS IS NOT UNSPOKEN this is BEAUTY HAS GRACE a totally diffrent cd this is one of the best jaci cd to come out since her second self titled album "jaci"(in which i love).but to be honest "beauty has grace" came petty darn close the lyrcs on this cd are really good and catchy....now for those who are new to jaci i will advise you that this is a cd will grow on you every time you listen to it my favorite song is "with all my soul" "supernatural""reason to belive"and "somthing beautiful" in which i play that song in heavy rotation.this is jaci at her best i would deffenify pefer this cd...trust me this is a whole new diffrent side to jaci that some thought she never had...edge with a messege...let this be the review for those who where wavering let me...to get this cd find this review helpful and go get this cd...........