Your crusty chronicler generally does his own thing. Still, when Examiner asked for his support for their new favorite “List” format, it was impossible not to be a little open-minded. So, with that spirit of teamwork and unity in mind, your rockin’ reviewer presents this newer musical series—“Track by Track” in which we review certain select CDs “track by track”.
In this edition, we peruse the latest disc by Denise Rosier One Heart. For newer readers who may have missed the previous “Girls Rock” piece on this lyrical lady, Denise Rosier is a California-based indie multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter. This new ten-track release features Rosier on lead vocals backed by her husband and co-producer Keith Rosier on bass and Larry Beaird on acoustic guitar. Other assorted artists also add their individual offerings to certain songs as will be further discussed within the actual track-by-track list analysis of Rosier’s latest release.
(View the list to see the actual tracks)
“Spirit Is In This Place”.
The album opens with a strong lead-in titled “Spirit Is In This Place”. It’s catchy, commercial and radio-ready. It’s a fine introduction to an album that explores Rosier’s thoughts on “unity, peace, love and spirit”. This cut features Greg Morrow on drums Troy Lancaster on electric guitar, Steve Nathan on piano and Russ Pahl on steel.
The titular track, “One Heart”, seems to be an upbeat early favorite of folks in the artist’s camp. Here she is rejoined by the above artists on a track that perhaps best exemplifies her message. Rosier says this release is about “one heart, one mind, one power in the name of love”.
“I Know God”
The next number is “I Know God”. Here she slows things down a bit with a quieter, slightly solemn song. It’s a refreshingly direct piece free of the “Amy Grant” writing technique of cranking out generalized songs that could be either spiritual or secular. It features Wayne Killus on drums, Rob McNelly on electric guitar with Nathan and Pahl remaining on piano and steel respectively.
“Spirit’s Hymn” follows flowingly here. This inspired composition–featuring Tammy King on fiddle–has a simple message and a definite old school, country hymn touch to it that was obviously intentional. After all, Rosier originally began this particular project only intending to “write a few congregational tunes with piano accompaniment” not to create “a ten-song album”.
“Peace, Light, Love”
“Peace, Light, Love” is next on the playlist. This is another piano-driven piece that has a relatively calm touch to it. Here Rosier is backed only by her bass-playing hubby and the piano and strings of Mike Schmid (Miley Cyrus). It fits in quite well with the other material Rosier has included on this album.
The sixth selection is titled “Vessel”. This song somehow has a very familiar sound to it. It is reminiscent of other more spiritual songstresses and music often heard on more ‘commercial” Christian radio. Rosier’s sincere vocals make it work for her regardless of any similarity to those who have gone before her. She is joined here by Japanese heavy metal guitarist Masaaki Watanuki (pictured).
“Everything Is Sacred”
“Everything Is Sacred” follows here. This is the only tune not written solely by Rosier. It is not, however, a cover of the pop piece by The Dust Company or the classical cut by First Love².
This one was co-composed with Jennifer Spear. It’s a beautiful bit that moves along well. Rosier hastened to add: “For this song–and all (the) songs–props have to be given to the amazing vocal arrangements by Bryon Holley. His work really shines (here). The dude is a machine.”
Another piano-driven piece, “We Are” comes next on the CD. This is said to be a “congregational favorite”. It is further evidence of Rosier’s original intentions as well as her abilities both as a spiritual songstress and contemporary composer. This too is made complete by Schmid’s strings and keys and her partner’s bass.
“God Within Me”
As the disc begins to wind down Rosier performs the song “God Within Me”. This is another straight-forward song making a plain, clear statement about her beliefs. Her musical message and vocals are open and honest. This is the type of tune Rosier hopes will help listeners find their own spiritual space.
“Spirit In Me”
The closing cut is “Spirit In Me”. It’s an uncomplicated end to an album of reflective ballads and inspirational audios. Rosier’s warm voice shows her love of sharing her music as she performs at various venues (including faith-based events) all year. If you could use a little spiritual uplifting, check out Denise Rosier’s One Heart. You just might find the “Peace, Light (and) Love” that you crave.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.