WITH AN UNCOMMON DEPTH of intimacy, and fresh lyrics and arrangements, Beautiful Jesus is not just another cookie-cutter worship album. Songwriter Andrea Hunter and worship leader Jeremy Riddle have teamed up to create a rare and profound experience of adoration. Blended into this audible incense of worship are legendary studio guitarist Dean Parks’ flawless musician-ship and Tata Vega’s impassioned vocals.
The album begins with the upbeat and flowing “Because Of You.” “There’s A Light” has a hymn-like feel reminiscent of Third Day’s classic “These Thousand Hills.” Infused with a slightly Celtic flavor, “The Creed” transforms a mere recitation into a powerful declaration of worship.
“Here Is My Heart” transitions the album into more of a reflective, mellow flow. “To Bow And To Kiss” (the meaning of one of the main Greek words for worship in the New Testament) brings us right to the feet of Jesus in deep intimacy and affection. With its heartbeat-like drums pulsating throughout, “So Close” brings our hearts into contact with the heart of our Heavenly Bridegroom.
The intimate worship continues as the tempo picks up a bit with “This Love” and “Brought To Tears.” The album closes all too soon with the title track, “Beautiful Jesus”…a delicate, lovely song sung in both English and Spanish. The only downside to this recording is that at 38 minutes, it leaves you longing for more. This is a CD you will want to play over and over again.
— BRIAN BYRD
Healing Rooms of Santa Maria Valley
These are truly beautiful songs about our beautiful Lord and Savior Jesus. Andrea Hunter has a gift for writing songs of intimacy and depth. Jeremy Riddle is one of our best and brightest new worship leaders.
— LANCE PITTLUCK
Senior Pastor, Anaheim Vineyard
Beautiful Jesus invites us into deeper intimacy with the source of our healing. Into that place of intimacy its offering rekindles love for our source and reawakens the fundamental hope we have based our lives on.
— ANDREW COMISKEY
Executive Director, Desert Streams Ministries
“If you like slower songs like “Precious Jesus” from his earlier albums then you will love this album. I’ve purchased one song at a time. Each time I listened to that one song, loved it, and then returned to purchase another, and eventually I’d say, “This one is great too!” TaTa Vega and Riddle sound wonderful together. In addition, these are thoughtful songs on the very best theme: Beautiful Jesus. Five stars!”
— iTunes Customer Review
“I really like all of Jeremy’s stuff…This album is solid…It gets better with each listen. Solid. Real good blend of tender songs and joyful worship.”
— iTunes Customer Review
More on “Beautiful Jesus”
As the world moved into a new millennium, and after 12 years of leading worship, and a lifetime of preparation, at twenty-five years old Jeremy Riddle was introduced to the world of contemporary Christian music with a resounding debut on three albums, all released within months of each other.Two were compilations with multiple artists, and the third was Beautiful Jesus, a writing collaboration with Jeremy as the featured artist on all tracks.
Working with someone else on songs was something totally new for Jeremy: At the time he said, “I’ve never done anything like this. I’ve always written my own stuff. Writing has always been a very private experience and I’ve never really collaborated with anyone. It’s been a wonderful experience and it’s really taught me the beauty of something, if the mix is right, that can come out of two people instead of one.” Since that time he has been collaborating with a host of songwriters creating music that is making an impact worldwide.
Beautiful Jesus’ most downloaded song is the personal “Here is My Heart,” perfect for an altar call; and “To Bow And To Kiss,” and “The Creed” are congregational favorites. “To Bow and to Kiss” garnered a place on Song DISCovery’s Vol. 41, alongside Matt Redman’s “Blessed Be Your Name,” Tim Hughes “Beautiful One,” and Chris Tomlin’s “Take My Life.”
The theme of Christ’s surpassing beauty and worth is evident throughout, but especially on both the title track’s compelling duet in English and Spanish (Jeremy and solo artist Tata Vega, and featuring the extreme talents of guitarist Dean Parks) and on “This Love” (written and performed by Riddle and later rewritten for his album The Now and The Not Yet, re-titled as “Surrendered in Praise”).
“The whole randomness of the events that led up to Beautiful Jesus has been a very cool experience,” declares Jeremy, who met Andrea through her brother-in-law, Jonathan Hunter, head of Embracing Life Ministries. Jonathan knew she was looking for a singer for some songs she had written over the years and he suggested Jeremy. Andrea and Jeremy looked at dozens of songs and distilled the lineup down to those that they shared the greatest affinity for. Some of the songs remained virtually the same, but many were re-crafted with Jeremy’s contribution of new melodies for “Brought to Tears” and “To Bow And To Kiss,” and his musical and lyrical input on others. “Beautiful Jesus” was a brand new song written together just for the album. Andrea adds, “For Jeremy to do this album was a real gift. He has an intrinsic understanding of the history of worship music that enriches everything he does, so he is not limited by any one style or expression. His passionate artistry is at the heart of Beautiful Jesus, and Jesus is at the heart of everything he does.”