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"Not Myself Anymore", Jessa Anderson - CD Review

By Barry Westman on December 17, 2011

Not Myself Anymore is the debut release from Jessa Anderson, a 20-something Michigan-native, and the newest female recording artist with BEC Recordings. This wife and young mom is grateful for the opportunity to live out her dream and share her music on a larger scale.

Jessa travels full-time with her guitar-playing husband, Jordan, and their young daughter, Lorelei. She describes her music as – honest, open narratives about faith, struggles and real life. Her goal in songwriting and being an artist includes honesty and a genuineness that can be found in her music and life. Not Myself Anymore is filled with songs that accomplish that goal.

Anderson lists some of her musical influences as female songwriters such as Sara Groves, Nichole Nordeman and Ginny Owens. You can hear glimpses of each of those singers in Jessa’s music, and I would also add a touch of Francesca Battistelli. All of these singer/songwriters display that honesty and genuineness in their music and lyrics, and Jessa Anderson is no exception.

In fact, even the name of the album is an expression of this honesty, pointing to the fact that this process of pursuing her dream of music has forced her to trust God like never before and has shaped her into a new person. Though the title track, “Not Myself Anymore”, appears to be about a broken relationship, Jessa also mentions a double meaning, pointing to the change that took place in her own life while in the process of pursuing her dreams.

The first track on the album, “Not What I Thought”, is another song that’s drawn from an honest look at a painful time in her life, when Jessa was dealing with an eating disorder in college. She got to a point in her life where she could either choose to go down a path that would destroy her life, or choose her relationship with God. She chose to follow God’s calling on her life, and through that journey discovered God’s not who she thought, and that revelation was the basis for the song.

“Everybody Has Those Days” is a fun song she likes to use to introduce herself to her fans, describing herself as a clumsy, insecure, ordinary girl who is learning that every misstep and every bad day is just a chance to learn more about herself and share it with others through her music.

This album sounds great, with a very high production value, honest lyrics, spot-on vocals and a variety of musical styles that keeps the listener engaged and not quite sure what to expect next at first listen. Keep your eye on this new artist! I would not be surprised if you hear a lot more of Jessa Anderson very soon!

-Review by Barry Westman

(review copy provided by BEC Recordings)

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Barry Westman

Barry Westman

Barry has served in worship ministry for 20 years, currently serving as Worship Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Janesville, Wisconsin. He was born and raised in Minnesota, husband to Tina, and father to three beautiful children - Chad, Emily and Olivia. He usually leads worship from the keyboard and loves to play board games!

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