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Music Review: Come Close EP by Legend Ozora

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9.8
 
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Updated March 04, 2019
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Legend Ozora “Come Close” Trailer

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£4.95 (Amazon)

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Legend is an artist mature beyond her years. At only 18 years old, Legend is the first female solo act signed to Old Bear Records. Her love for people and the local church is evident in her life and songs. Much of her passion has been inspired by her numerous mission trips to Haiti serving the poor and orphaned.

“Come Close” is produced by Chris Hoisington at Old Bear Studios and is a haunting and inspiring collection of songs. Leaning heavily on the use of voices as instruments, the album submits a fresh sound to the movement of modern worship and provides an intimate listening experience that fully captures the heart of the title track.

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Editor review

1 reviews

Come Close by Legend Ozora
Overall rating 
 
9.8
Vocals 
 
10.0
Lyrics 
 
9.0
Originality 
 
10.0
Value 
 
10.0
Personal Rating 
 
10.0
Last June it was announced that Legend Ozora had been signed to Old Bear Records. Despite her youth, she is only 18, she has been regularly leading worship in various churches in her home State of Minnesota and also been on mission trips to Haiti. The guys at Old Bear felt that her heart for worship and mission plus her amazing voice would make her a great fit alongside label-mates like Ian Zumback, Kurtis Parks and Weston Skaggs. Old Bear's Chris Hoisington has produced the EP meaning that they have been able to channel and mentor this young worshipper to bring out the best of her sound.

We have had a few reviews recently that don't quite fit the standard worship mould recently and this is another one. This is not quite an ambient release, at least not in the style of something from Salt of the Sound for example where they use natural-soundscapes and computer effects to create a wide-open and relaxing atmosphere. The sound is certainly more closed in and contained and although there is instrumental backing throughout, there are a lot of layers to the sound, not least an echoing vocal which bring the monastic singing traditions to mind, whilst at the same time sounding far more modern. The top layer of each track is the main vocal from Legend herself, which is mesmerising from the first time she opens her mouth. She has a great ability to both blend in with what is going on in the track, but also to bring her vocal out of it and make it distinctive, this is particularly clear on "Run Free". 

The first track "Come Close" was released as a single last June and introduced the Christian music world to Legend's hauntingly beautiful vocals. As with most of the tracks on this EP, there is a lot to listen to with the layered soundscape, but the lyrics themselves are actually fairly simple. This first track is opening up the worship asking God to come close to us, at the same time we are encouraged to move closer to seek God with all our hearts. As this song echoes and re-echoes this simple thought, it talks about God's presence filling the room and the vocal achieves this as it fills the space and the only way that I can describe it is as a 'vocal incense'. The next track is "Always Good" which reminds us of God's faithfulness to us in all our situations and that we should "fix our eyes on you, where my help comes from" in the echo of Psalm 121.

"Run Free" is about our belonging to Christ and the freedom that this gives us in our lives, despite what we might feel, or what other things might influence us. This is a reminder to stand firm in the promise of God's freedom bought for us and promised as Children of God. Legend's vocal is beautiful, but when she speaks God's words of rest and comfort over us in "Cast All Your Cares" there is something so incredibly warm and inviting about those lyrics. The vocal with a slight echo and then the other voices behind it carry the words straight to the heart. The song is about casting our cares, doubts, shame and fears on God and reminding us that His grace is enough to cover it all - this is a song that is just needed in personal times so desperately when we are seeking God, this just reminds us that our Father is simply waiting to take that burden and replace it with His grace and love. "Your Hands" takes this further to the extent that our life is totally in God's hands, acknowledging that at times we fall, we may not be bringing those doubts, fears and shame to God because we don't want to talk to him - we get to these places in our lives, but even then we are in God's hands, never let go, we have a place of utter safety. The song finishes bringing us full circle with a refrain of "Come Close" reminding us that God turns our mourning into dancing when He is close to us!

This is a brilliantly crafted 5 track release. I could see individual tracks being used in small church meetings where people could add their voices to those on the tracks, but even more, I can see this being something for a very precious prayer/worship journey. 22 minutes to put your headphones in and just lose yourself in these songs which speak clearly from inviting God's presence to hearing God's response of how He is waiting to take our sin and shame. As I said earlier this really doesn't fit any standard worship mould, there is a sacred feel to these songs, but they don't sound like they have been lost in the mists of time, although sometimes the vocal almost has that mystical or even spiritual quality that you find on an album from Clannad or Iona.

My only real gripe with this EP is the length, and even then that isn't a major problem, I just wanted more! Having said that, 22 minutes is a great length for a bit of personal prayer and worship session with your headphones on. The good news is that there is already more in the pipeline and Legend will soon be returning to the studio for a second release. You don't want to miss this worship experience, if you wear socks then I believe that this sacred-semi-traditional-future-folk EP will thoroughly bless them off!
RA

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