I Choose Jesus
Nineteen-year-old Christian pop/rock artist Moriah Peters brings a host of strengths to her debut album, I Choose Jesus. Her smooth, slightly throaty vocals take on a batch of tunes (all but one of which she cowrote) that display a fervent, compassionate faith and buoyantly infectious grooves. While Peters' lyrics are aimed at teenage listeners, she shows an overall maturity that puts her music closer to Francesca Battistelli or J.J. Heller than, say, Jamie Grace. Summery, upbeat tracks like “Know Us by Our Love” (a call for social activism set to a shuffle beat), “Well Done” (a personal anthem boosted by a big backup chorus), and “Miracle” (a healing message wrapped around warm acoustic guitar) fortify their sweetness with solid spiritual content. Especially good is “Haven’t Even Kissed,” a love song about taking the good things slow. Peters proves her mettle with worship balladry on the title tune and delivers the redemptive “No Shame” with impressive sensitivity. Ed Cash’s polished (but not glitzy) production brings out both the festive and thoughtful qualities of Peters’ music.