"I've had a lot of people asking why the record is called Future. It's because in my life and a lot of the communities around me, a lot of the conversations have been about how, as a human race, we're all about planning and about making our lives seem perfect and all these things about what our future holds. It's where a lot of fear and stress and anxiety comes from in our lives because, as believers, our future is the inheritance of God. He holds our future every single day in His hands and that's something that was a huge part of where I've been in this last year of making this record. It feels really close to home to write these songs.
"I'm so excited for you guys to hear these songs, to live with them, to listen to them. I hope that the Lord is able to work in your lives in a big way with these songs and that you're able to just have fun with them."
While I saw his name appear several times on NewReleaseToday, I wasn't truly introduced to Jordan Feliz until a friend at a Bible study mentioned him and played his music. It's never been easy for me to listen to new music in a setting that I can't control. But I did take the initiative to look him up on my own.
At that time, I wasn't fully immersed into the K-LOVE music scene, but the little of Jordan Feliz I heard (namely just "The River," but I soon introduced "Never Too Far Gone" into my diet), I enjoyed. Now that I live in America, K-LOVE sounding stations play all the time when we flip on the radio, and Jordan Feliz is one that still stands out. I gave the debut album to my brother for his birthday, and we enjoyed more songs; personally I love "Best Of Me." (Listen Wikipedia, "Beloved" was a promotional album, or longform EP, which led up to "The River.")
Of course, the Christian music community lit up when they heard that Jordan Feliz was to release a second album, and in the fall of 2017, he released the single "Witness." It became a radio single and an encouragement and anthem for many. I personally enjoyed it.
Then "Faith" was released as a single right before 2017 wrapped up, and then I started to get a little worried. While "Witness" featured a relatively unique sound, "Faith" seemed to follow a similar sound/formula. The lyrics were great, but I was afraid that the whole album would follow suit. (I chose not to listen to "Changed" and "Count That High" prior to listening to the full album.)
The Lord amazingly opened the door for me to review this album, and I got to hear it a day earlier than everyone else. Let me go through the album song-by-song, and then I will give my overall thoughts.
Vocal samples, quite the overused electronic-based music trend nowdays, welcomed me into "Count That High." This song is a thank-you letter to God, thanking him for all the bountiful blessings, stating that "I could never count that high." While it has a nice message, it doesn't stand out a whole ton. (While I appreciate the honesty, the line "The more that I try [to count that high] / The more that it chokes me up" sounds very out of place in this poppy song. But I still love and appreciate the honesty. The line does make me think a little bit.)
"Streets Of Gold" is another song that employs vocal samples, and it honestly destroyed the impact of the song. Carrying on the theme of the Lord holding our future in His hands, this song "celebrate[s] and find joy in what's to come / 'cause someday you'll be walking on streets of gold." This song is a nice reminder of what's to come for us believers in Christ, but the vocal sample of the phrase "on streets of gold" really drives me nuts.
"Pages" presents the proof for the hope we have in the Lord: the Bible. "I found your love in the pages," Jordan Feliz sings in the chorus. "So much stronger than the grave" is one quality Jordan does say about the Bible. For those who love pop, Christians will love this reminder of how amazing the Bible is.
"Lay It Down" is a great reminder for those suffering from the daily struggles or the pains that life brings their way to just lay it down in front of the Lord. "Hey, if you wanna find peace / Just come lay it down / Hey, if you wanna get free / Just come lay it down." I can see myself turning this song whenever I do feel overwhelmed. Beautiful song!
The title track, "Future," sums up the theme of the album. "I know you hold the future," Jordan Feliz sings with confidence. But, Jordan Feliz shares that he wasn't that certain that all would go well. When he was in the process of writing the album, he had panic attacks in fear that what he would write wouldn't be good enough. But he had to be encouraged and remember that the Lord holds the future and that the future is planned out. This song (and album) is a testimony of the faith Jordan Feliz put into the Lord to trust His plan for the future.
This song, "All Along," is an autobiographical song, which recounts his dream to sing and his marriage. But the chorus is something we can all sing-along to: rejoicing in the fact that the Lord was with us the whole time! And I love the breakdown after the chours! (I hear "Best Of Me" vibes!)
A witness would need to know what happened, so "Changed" gives the full scoop. He explains how God has transformed his life. "There's no end to the love I've found / Future's bright and there ain't no doubt." Honestly, this song doesn't stand out too much.
"180" has some classic CCM ballad vibes mixed with the current pop sound, but this is so beautiful. Jordan Feliz deals with his fears ("What if I outrun Your grace? / Can You replace these broken yesterdays?"), but decides to trust that God forgives ("Tell me I can start again"). The chours declares "I know Your love can turn this heart / A 180 degrees to bring me back to where You are." Man, I just love this song!!!
What is life with Christ like? "Why would I run back to where I was? / 'Cause I got everything in Your love." In this slow jam, Jordan Feliz rejoices "That's The Life" he has in Christ when he has everything he truly needs. While he pulls off the falsetto, it might not be one of the songs that quickly rises to the top.
"My Shelter" has great lyrics, but is a song that employs a pop sound that might not catch everyone's fancy. "Where can I go when life falls heavy and fear is thundering? / Lord, You cover me / 'Cause I know my best protection is right in front of me / So I'm gonna be running to my shelter." I LOVE THOSE LINES!!! But it's not my favorite song musically. I would love to hear an acoustic version of this song, though.
The album ends with a beautiful song entitled "Blank Canvas." The album asks questions about uncertain futures and fears, but didn't the Bible say that every day is filled with new mercies from the Lord? "'Cause every day's a blank canvas for you / From the God who makes all things new." What a beautiful ending to the album.
Praise the Lord that our future is in His hands! We can simply have faith in our shelter when things are happy and when things go wrong.
I love the theme of this album: resting in the peace that God has our future planned out for us. It's something I personally needed to hear and I thought it was very encouraging.
That said, it definitely sounds like your typical pop album. There is a more atmospheric air to it, but it's the contemporary pop we're used to hearing on K-LOVE. But this album has something that other pop songs are missing: good songwriting. While quite a few songs had simple and basic themes, Jordan Feliz did an amazing job making it come alive for the audience. He really captured the wonder of salvation and God's plan (no, not Drake's plan).
For Jordan Feliz fans and those who really enjoy the current sound of AC music, then go and grab this album! But that is not the first genre you like to jump on, then just dip your toes in a couple songs to make up your mind. In addition, any Christian who needs the blessed assurance that Jesus has an amazing plan for their future, then they need to hear this encouragement
Witness: The Remixes (EP)