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CD Reviews: Keri Noble
Keri Noble: Fearless
June 2004
By: Lauren Jonik
album cover of Keri Noble's Fearless


"Live the questions now," the writer Rainer Maria Rilke once said. "Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. . ." The debut album, Fearless, by Keri Noble is a beautiful example of an artist living her way through the twisting and turning questions about love to the answers that swirl in one's heart.

Whether it's the joy in subtly discovering that you're falling love, finding the strength to be who you are in a relationship or the struggle to be there for a loved one who is suffering, Keri Noble's songs reflect a commitment to remaining present through whatever the moment brings. In Talk To Me, Noble sings of the delicious insecurity of trying to get the nerve to approach someone: Come and talk to me / What are you waiting for / 'Cuz I can see you passing everyday and I'm always wanting more / Come and talk to me / What are you gonna do / 'Cuz I can't seem to get off my own ass / And come talk to you. . . Whereas, in Piece Of My Heart, she finds the courage to say goodbye to loved ones--- content in knowing that all paths lead home once again and though goodbye is only temporary word, love is permanent. But there's a cold wind coming in / And blowing us apart / Until the summer brings us back / You know you got a piece of my heart.

Perhaps, the most powerful track on Fearless begins with the words I had a dream about you last night / I dreamed that you were dead. Haunting, honest, and startlingly beautiful, A Dream About You compassionately explores the effects of not being your best self in a relationship--- with the gift of hindsight. Continuing to examine her own bravery, in About Me Keri Noble questions the ability make a lifelong commitment and acknowledges the kinds of fears that linger just beneath the surface. After I promise to love you forever / What happens to us if I fail? / I fear that my heart is a wavering thing and / I'm scared that your heart is frail. . . What if I give you my vow that I'll love you forever / And then wish that I could be free / These are the thing that I don't know, is it just me? / Is it just me?

With sweetness and enchantment, Falling describes the moments when a new love is in its infancy, just making its way into the world, vulnerable, precious and full of possibility. The gentle ballad Answered Prayer softly gives thanks for the love manifesting before her eyes, while showcasing her childhood influences of Christian and Gospel music. You are the answered prayer / That I thought was never heard / But here you are in front of me / And I admit / I'm finding it hard to breathe / And I believe / In answered prayer / You are my answered prayer. Growing up in Michigan, Keri Noble's father was a pastor of a Southern Baptist church and her mother was a Spanish teacher. When Noble was entering her sophomore year, she began attending a Christian high school in Detroit, where she was exposed to various musical styles--- including urban, R&B, and hip hop--- elements of which can be heard in the smoothness and soulfulness of Noble's vocal delivery.

Inspired by watching a documentary of John Lennon, Love Is All I Know invokes the space to remind that, while the simple and most profound truths can elude us, they remain. All I know is / Love, love, love / Love, love, love / Love, love, love, love / Love is all I know. And, perhaps in the end, that is the only answer that we need to know.


http://www.kerinoble.com


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