Music Review: A Very 1 Girl Nation Christmas (EP)

“I can’t even listen to this anymore. Your voices together, are just too amazing.” ~Gwen Stefani, talking about a Battle Rounds performance on Season 9 of The Voice.

Although we may be slightly exaggerating, this was our reaction when we heard 1 Girl Nation’s Christmas track, Joy.

The lead single off the teen pop group’s Christmas EP, the lyrics in “Joy” talk about some of the most exciting moments of the holiday season– i.e. kids seeing Santa at the mall, hearing the Christmas music on the radio, etc.  But in a not-so-surprising plot twist, the girls compare these moments to the one thing that truly explains the reason for the season; the birth of Jesus Christ. They explain that God loves us so much, He sent us a Savior, and for that reason, “there is no greater joy.

As if the inspirational message wasn’t enough, the song also included some amazing vocal skills from Lindsey, Carmen, Kayli, and Lauryn.

Seriously. That falsetto in the bridge of the song… WOW! It was almost like that time when Kelly Clarkson performed her Christmas song, “Underneath the Tree,” (which “Joy” is very similar to) on NBC’s The Voice a few years ago.

After hearing this song on the radio a couple times (and LOVING IT!!!), we checked out the rest of the EP, and weren’t disappointed one bit. These girls have taken 3 covers of classic Christmas songs, as well as a cover of Idina Menzel’s hit song “Let It Go,” and made the all-too-familiar tracks their own.

Angels We Have Heard On High is reminiscent of the Pitch Perfect or Glee soundtracks. It blends a bit of organic percussion with a tightly woven electro-pop instrumental, maintaining the familiar melody while still allowing 1GN to put their signature spin on the song.

A track usually associated with strains of southern gospel, Go Tell It On the Mountain is arranged in a similar pop/R&B style. Programmed beats provide the backbone for a great vocal arrangement, all while keeping the original melody and lyrics.

However, it’s the standout track, A Very A Cappella Christmas Mashup, that the girls really showcase their vocal abilities. Covering everything from “Jingle Bells” to “O Holy Night” in the duration of almost 5 minutes, this song is 50 shades of INCREDIBLE. Aside from the harmonies being on point, each member of the group brings something unique and different to the collaboration, making it an overall success. Some highlights of the track:

  • We were totally surprised when Lauryn turned What Child Is This? into a rap verse reminiscent of Nicki Minaj– however, it seemed to fit perfectly in the recording.
  • The rap verse soon turned into a breathtaking rendition of O Holy Night.” From the second we heard Kayli hit the high note during the lyrics, “oh nightttt…. DIVIIINNNNNNNEEE,” we were blown away. For a minute, we thought, when did Demi Lovato join a Christian teen pop band? It was so amazing!

As for the concluding track, Let It Go…it’s an Academy Award-winning anthem of self-empowerment that has been covered by practically everyone who likes to sing. When we heard 1GN had done a cover of this song, . we thought their cover would be mediocre compared to the original. However, we ended up being wrong! Although this song has been overplayed on so many levels, and many big names (including Demi Lovato) have previously recorded it, 1GN did a great job bringing in some bold EDM elements that give new life to a Disney classic. This song alone will probably make many a girls’ day.

A Very 1 Girl Nation Christmas, a short-but-sweet follow-up to their 2013 debut album, was released last October– and a lot of changes have taken place since then.

  • The band’s sophomore album, Cinema, was scheduled for release earlier this year, but has been delayed several times.
  • Lindsey recently announced she’s stepping down from 1GN, in order to record music with her husband.

At this point, the future of 1 Girl Nation is unclear. However, all the girls are so talented that if the group disbands, they will all have successful solo careers in the Christian/pop music industry. Although only God knows what the future will be for 1 Girl Nation– their Christmas EP will remain virtually timeless.

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EP BY: 1 GIRL NATION
Release Date: October 3rd 2014
Recorded: 2014
Genre: Pop / R&B / Inspirational
Produced by: Unknown
Record label: Essential Records

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