I had been feeling prompted for months to contact Katherine Nelson to write something for Emma Smith's Birthday celebration. When I finally got up the nerve to email her I was first, thrilled that she said she would, and second excited that her manager asked me if I'd like to review and help promote her new CD, Born Brave-- which just happens to be all about strengthening women and finding your inner power.
I sure thought so.
I have been listening to Born Brave for the last week or two as I've been driving my kids around in the car. I must have listened to it more than I thought because yesterday when I looked back at Rose she was singing her little heart out to "Born." She didn't really know any of the words but she would sing "Born" really loud, which made up for not knowing the rest.
As I sat down to write this review I realized that if there were any songs that I don't mind my daughter singing at the top of her lungs it was these ones. Katherine has put together a beautiful mix of songs that are really empowering to women, of all ages. I LOVED the message on the inside of the CD cover, and even though you can read it on the picture below I want to type her message out so that you don't miss it. I couldn't explain what the message of this CD is any better than she does here:
Women of the world... The odds are stacked against us. There is an adversary who knows all too well that the annihilation of the spirits of the Daughters of God will destroy families, communities, and even nations. Women have been born with the ability to reach inside for that instinct of survival, both physical and spiritual. Whether being passed down in our hearts by the countless women and mothers who came before us, or born out of our darkest hours of struggles.
There is a deep well of strength that lies within us, that fuels our capacity to exercise courage, to face the unfaceable, and to rise above every circumstance. We carry the banner of faith, love, perseverance, and HOPE to all those within our circles of outreach in life.
I truly believe that when we strengthen women, we strengthen the world.
We are all born brave.
Let me just share a little bit more of what Katherine shared on her blog:
"Truth is, I want so desperately to take a super-sized glittering spotlight and shower it over every woman in the world with this music until they feel they are valued. Loved. Needed. Admired. Followed. Looked up to by their daughters and other growing young women in their lives. I want it to get into their veins and bones and heart and soul so they know they matter. They offer a kind of love that is uniquely theirs to give. It must be that I’ve seen too many women not come home at the end of the day. And I get it. I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to pull out of the driveway and not come back when truth may be too hard to face and too uncomfortable to talk through, even live through.
... I’ve learned that personally it actually takes an ENORMOUS amount of guts to make it from day to day, year to year. I think this is why I love the Born Brave woman. Looking back through my life and where I am now I have been blessed to know so many of them. You know them too. You probably are one if you think about it. Typically they are the women that will never make history, media or even a blog-post of any kind, although their effect on the world is immeasurable. Their names are often forgettable and accomplishments unrecognizable to the passerby. But they are strong. They are battling the toughest battles. They win, they lose, they keep going."
I really love female vocalists but I am so often disappointed by the messages of their songs. Often they are either idealistic, angry, or advocate for the world's type of feminism-- which doesn't really jive well with my soul. It was so refreshing to listen to Katherine's album and to hear her sing about strong and empowered women, who change the world through developing their talents, bearing children, loving men, creating a home, caring for those around them, and following the Lord-- even when it is really hard. After listening to her songs I felt a little bit more like there wasn't anything I couldn't do with the Lord's help. She reminded me that I have a legacy of strong women who came before me and that I am here to lead and teach the next generation of strong women.
And that is really hard-- and really brave.
In addition to having a great message I really love Katherine's voice. To me her style of singing is somewhere in between Alanis Morissette' s expression and the twang of Martina McBride. She has a wonderful blend of styles and I really like listening to her sing. She definitely has country to her (she did record in Nashville!) but I think that no matter what your music taste you will like her sound (unless of course you only like rap or polka, then you might be disappointed).
I also thought it was really neat to hear her sing "Emma", especially after reading what she wrote about her experience portraying her. That was just icing on the top of the cake.
Really, I loved so many of her songs. Though, I think that this is one CD that I will have to be in the right mood to listen to. There are certain songs that are really up beat and fun, but to listen to the whole thing all the way through makes me a bit emotional. This is one of those CDs that I will turn on those hard days, the days when I feel discourage and like nothing I do makes a bit difference. It is a good "pick me-up and remind me it is worth it" CD, which I really need some days.
I just wanted to share with you a few of my favorite songs from the CD and my favorite lines, if you click on this link it will take you to a preview of the song on Katherine's website.
"I was born to feel heartbreak and heal again
Born to open up my heart
Raise my hands and sing
I was born to fill the measure of my wings"
"Good For Me" (my very favorite!)
"You say I'm doing life all wrong
Like I"ve never heard that before
Well don't go asking me to clip my wings
Or say I've won a loosing fight
Cause my babies kiss me every morning
And I love my husband every night."
and "Home Sweet Home"
"When I was a little girl
I sent my wishes up to Heaven
Prayed someday they'd all come true
They stirred aroun up in the starlight
They fell down as became you, you, you, you, and you, yes."
I think I naturally liked the songs about motherhood the most, because that is the stage of life I am in, but there are songs here for all women. No matter what your situation I am pretty sure that there is a song on this CD that will speak to you and remind you that because you are a Daughter of God you were Born Brave.
Thank you Katherine for making such a beautiful album! I wish I could go around with you and "take a super-sized glittering spotlight and shower it over every woman in the world with this music until they feel they are valued." I know it made me feel that way.
I have two copies of Born Brave to give away to my readers! If you would like to win one please leave me a comment telling me:
- The story of a time when you have had to be brave OR
- The story of the bravest woman you know
- Visit Katherine's website and preview her songs. Leave a comment telling me which on you liked the best.
- Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or on your own blog.
The giveaway will end Monday August 6th!