Editor’s note: As part of CMN’s ongoing music journalism program, we asked our team of music writers to take on the age-old challenge of choosing one piece of music they would like to have with them if they were stranded on a deserted island. It’s an absurd notion, but also irresistible. See all the different approaches they took to the challenge right over here.
If I were forced to live forever on a desert island and could only take one album with me, I’d choose The Heal by Keyondra Lockett. Following the release of the Bring Me To EP in 2015, Lockett released her first solo album in September 2018.
This is not only my all-time favorite record, but it is very encouraging and uplifting. I deliberately find songs that are motivating, inspirational, and most importantly, empowering. This album fulfills all three of these categories through its powerful lyrics, Lockett’s eccentric, yet unique voice, and the story that it tells. If you listen to Lockett’s voice, there is something special about what she brings to the table. Her strong vibrato, the sincerity, the compassion, and those vocal riffs and runs are just perfect. She sings with so much passion that pierces my soul and calms my spirit.
The title of the album has a lot of significance, because it reminds me of what I have overcome to become the person that I am today. I have been a fan of Lockett for years and her music. I discovered the album through social media. Actually, I found out about Keyondra Lockett in 2016 via Instagram. At the time, she was a part of the gospel group, Z’iel and promoting their new album “Pronounced Zy-El“. After much success, Z’iel disbanded and chose to work on solo projects. The moment I heard Lockett sing, I became a fan. I love all of her work, but (especially this album) has impacted my life tremendously.
I learned a few lessons from her work. The first is to always trust God. Second, believe in myself. Third, be patient. Finally, healing is a part of any journey.
I must admit that this is an album I can’t live without. It is so personal, and brings me peace when I need to escape. The Heal is the soundtrack of my life and that will never change. Here’s a glimpse inside each track:
Track 1: “The Water” – This track talks about the setting yourself free by being baptized. Not only can this be a first step toward healing, but will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated, or restored.
Track 2: “Heavenly Father” – Lockett gives thanks to God for everything that she has done. She appreciates his unconditional love. She is grateful that He remains by her side. Because of these tender moments, there is no doubt in her mind that she belongs to Him.
Track 3: “24 Hours” – If someone found out that they only had 24 hours left to live, how would they spent it? She sings: “Did you treat your neighbor right/Did you ever shine your light/Did you surrender all/Respond to the call/Did you ever get it right/Was it ever down inside /Did you spread some love?”
Track 4: “Try” – Lockett preaches never giving up. Keep trying. Life is full of obstacles. If you continue to try, you will eventually get to the finish line.
Track 5: “Real Love”– If you remember rapper Eve and Alicia Keys’s collaboration “Gangsta Lovin’” back into 2002, you’ll find this track is similar, but with a Christian twist. Lockett belts out these lyrics, “I just want a real love, all night long /I just want a real love, I can trust.” She is referring to God’s love.
Track 6: “Real Love (2.0)” – Lockett wants everyone to know why God’s love is so special. If people want to experience ‘real love,’ they can read the Bible, pray, and carry God with them everyone wherever they go.
Track 7: “Persuaded” – Lockett opens up about her life struggles and being talked about by other people. She has survived these experiences and continues to push forward. She is sending the message that no matter what occurs in life, she knows within her heart that nothing can separate her from loving God.
Track 8: “Joy (feat. 1K Phew)” – Lockett talks how joy can change people’s lives forever. She is also referencing the bible verse, Psalm 30, which states, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”
Track 9: “Speed Racing” – This track is one of my favorites. Lockett says that when it comes to achieving success, it does not always happen overnight. It takes time and depends on how hard people are willing to work in order to make it happen. She sings, “In success, there ain’t no speed racing/Get to your destination when you can/You’re going to make it to the promise land/Ain’t no speed racing/Put one foot in front of the other/Take your time/You will get there”
Track 10: “I Got Jesus” – Here, Lockett sings about how happy she is to know Jesus and that He is a part of her life. She keeps Him close to her heart and that is the best decision she has ever made.
Track 11: “You Will Heal” – The final track of the album feels so personal, but relatable in so many ways. When life presents people with obstacles, you might feel that you will never recover. Lockett reassures those that there is hope after struggle or loss. She sings, “You will heal/The pain you thought wouldn’t heal will/ And you can start again/And begin to feel/Yeah you will/You will heal”
The album would sustain on a desert island because it takes you on a journey from being broken to feeling complete again. While listening to the album, you can begin to gather your thoughts, let go of past regrets, learn from your mistakes, heal old wounds, and allow God to place you on the right path.
When people focus so heavily on their mistakes, not only are they not giving themselves room to grow, but disrupting the healing process. Healing takes time and people have to be willing to accept their past. Once this happens, you will eventually transform into a brand-new person. With God by your side, you will feel safe and find the strength to move forward.
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