I have a theory that all good things can be traced back in one way or another to the great state of Indiana. For instance, in basketball Indiana is home to the legendary Larry Bird. (That fact alone should settle this debate, but I’ll go on.) Abraham Lincoln spent his formative years (7-12) in Indiana. The awesomely funny TV show Parks & Rec is based on the fictional Pawnee, Indiana. Famed movie director Sydney Pollack and actors James Dean and Steve McQueen are all from Indiana. David Letterman and Red Skelton are both from Indiana. In terms of music, Indiana is the home to an eclectic mix of talent: Axl Rose, Michael Jackson, and Jon Mellencamp, to name but three.
In the world of Christian Music, even more good things can be traced back to Indiana. Rich Mullins is from Indiana. Gospel music veterans Bill Gaither, Danny Gaither and Gloria Gaither (and probably the rest of the Gaithers!) are from Indiana. Jeremy Camp is a Hoosier native from Lafayette, Indiana. Both Royal Tailor and the Sidewalk Prophets originally began to form in Indiana while founding members attended the same college. (The Sidewalk Prophets lead singer, Dave Frey, hails from Terre Haute, Indiana.)
Even with Indiana’s great musical tradition in mind, perhaps one of the most evocative and powerful female voices from this fine state is the simply named Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, an Indianapolis native.
You might know her better by her stage name, Plumb.
Plumb has a crazy amazing resume spanning the course of the last decade. She’s written for Jaci Velasquez, Michelle Branch and Mandy Moore. She’s a repeat performer in the #1 spot on the charts (come to think of it, right now she’s holding down the #1 and #4 spots with two of her songs, I Want You Here and Need You Know. She’s also sitting pretty on the iTunes new release chart smack dab between Taylor Swift and Rihanna. You know, no biggie!) Her songs are sort of TV/movie placement phenomenons, being featured in everything from the film Bruce Almighty to the Vampire Diaries and One Tree Hill. (I’m also pretty sure that was Plumb’s Need You Now (How Many Times) I heard on Pretty Little Liars tonight.)
While all of these accomplishments that Plumb has racked up over the past ten years are pretty impressive, you’ll be even more impressed when you listen to her new album Need You Now (How Many Times) that released today, February 26th, 2013.
Simply put, Need You Now (How Many Times) is superb.
Plumb has positioned Need You Now (How Many Times) as the album of 2013 that other artists(particularly of the female variety) are only going to be able to dream about being like.
In the past, I have been somewhat of an outspoken advocate for the need for more positive, super talented, authentic female artists in Christian music. This is not a bash against the guys in any way, but clearly the females are way outnumbered in this particular genre of music. (Case in point: on the WinterJam tour, there are currently 10 musical acts, only one of which (Jamie Grace) is a female performer. The Rock & Worship Road Show has 8 musical acts and zero female performers.)
Thank heavens for Plumb; she’s the real deal, exactly the kind of artist I would have hand-picked to fill the female void in Christian music. One of the things I love the most about Plumb is that she’s not some anodized puppet with sugar for the coating. As the biography provided by her Media Rep rightfully states, “She has a reputation to tell it like it is, giving an honest view of life while always showing the hope and light in every situation.”
It is this reputation, combined with Lee’s creative self-assuredness as an artist and her unparalleled voice, that give Plumb a suprising vantage point from which she can share her remarkable gift of music.
For sure, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Plumb’s Need You Now (How Many Times) is a beautiful amalgamation of striking raw emotion and authentic truths. Her lyrics are at times intensely sobering while at other times hopefully melodic and teeming with bold optimism. While Need You Now (How Many Times) is branded under the name Plumb, there is little doubt in my mind that this album is the true life story of Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, the wife and mother of three young children.
Her story is also in a way my story, and maybe even yours, too. It’s a relatable and riveting story, beautiful but sometimes sad, filled with moments of both laughter and love, mistakes and loss.
Most of all, it’s a story that highlights the hope that we all have in Jesus Christ.
This is one album I highly recommend without reservation. From beginning to end, Need You Now (How Many Times) is must have music. For sure, you don’t want to miss the standout tracks Beautiful, One Drop, I Want You Here, Chocolate & Ice Cream, I Don’t Deserve You (with Paul van Dyk), and my favorite of favorites, Drifting (with Jars of Clay frontman Dan Haseltine). (Side note: I assume that it goes without saying that Need You Now is 5 Star track. If you haven’t heard Need You Now by now, you must be living under a rock somewhere without radio stations, TV, or internet…and with that being said, you probably would not have made your way here to my blog.)
For a little sample of just how amazing Plumb is, check out the YouTube video below of her performing Need You Now. (You may want to head to iTunes first and start the download of Need You Now (How Many Times) before you start the video…that way, you’ll be all set to listen to the album in its entirety when you’ve finished watching the video! Just a suggestion, because I care 🙂