Danise Esswein: Love is Here EP Review: A Glimpse Into True Potential

The influence of religion, no matter your personal opinion is far-reaching and is a symbol of hope for some. In the past, Christian music has shown to be a formidable force with bands such as Flyleaf and Skillet pushing into the mainstream. With her new Kelly Clarkson-inspired debut EP, Danise Esswein attempts to chart territories of these acts. While she shows glimpses of promises, unfortunately, she will have to work a little harder than Love is Here.

The mixing and instrumentals of the EP as a whole give it a dated feeling. While not a bad mix, the instrumentals invoke a mid-2000s pop-rock sound that chooses to play it safe rather than innovate. The tracks have a good pop-rock beat, with wailing guitars and strong percussion that create a good pulse to bob your head to. The track “Eternal Life” in particular has a strong bass line that does a good job of guiding the beat of the track along. Unfortunately, the lack of any instrumental innovation to the tracks makes them sound dated against today’s musical landscape. This effect is only magnified by the introductory track “Lord Hear my Song.” Every high note in the track that Danise attempts to hit feels more like an attempt at a harmony, instead of one. 

The track “Sparkle in my Eyes” immediately following doesn’t suffer from this problem, however. The high notes on the chorus of “you’re the sparkle in my eyes” are much smoother and harmonious than the previous track. The juxtaposition is jarring to hear and serves to pause the flow of the album entirely.

While “Eternal Life” and “Following You” are solid tracks, with lyrics that hit home such as “Your love is here. I’ll testify. You are eternal life.” The biggest problem with the EP is the amateur and uninteresting feel it gives off. The instrumentals and mixing take no risks and only serve to put you back to the era it feels most at home. With time and enlightened ambition, Danise has the potential to mature into a capable artist. Unfortunately, Love is Here is more of a learning experience for this faith-based musician than the true success it could have been.

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