Live At the Door
Maybe it's unusual for an artist to release a live performance album after only three studio efforts, but the passionate, sultry-voiced artist that Billboard recently hailed as "one of Christian music's premiere singer/songwriters" is on a roll with Live at the Door. This past year, Nichole Nordeman won no less than seven trophies at the 34th Annual Dove Awards, and her hit single "Holy" (a rollicking, countrified tune reprised on this set) was a huge alternative country hit. On tracks like that, and the jazz-inflected ballad "Is It Any Wonder," Nordeman shows a tremendous stylistic range, and her vocal dynamics range on the same songs from cool and dreamy to (as the tunes progress) emphatic and powerful. She also takes a deeper spiritual meaning from Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," performing the song with a breathy elegance. As a bonus, she's a strong piano player; and a clear recording and not much crowd noise makes for an unobstructed listen. Her band is also unique in that it features an upright bassist (Chris Donohue), and a keyboardist (Tim Lauer), who specializes in colorful, retro touches via the pump organ, Wurlitzer, toy piano, and even accordion.