STM Reviews: J Israel – Be Grateful (Give Thanks)

Set for release on 25/11/21, ‘Be Grateful (Give Thanks)’ is also set to become the new go-to Christmas song that families across the world will be yearning to play.

The soul, characterised by its weighty beat and confident vocals, that comes across in ‘The Real J Israel’s upcoming festive single, adds a rich depth of flavour to the memories that have been drawn in the name of jubilant remembrance. He incorporates messages of gratefulness, and the fact life is hard for all of us and that we should be proud for our perseverance.

Juxtaposing this seemingly negative strife with something as wholly heart-warming as the comfort you get from family, and building on this through the already lightened spirit of Christmas, is only complimentary of his illustriousness and skill.

When listening, one feels intensely moved as a result of the gospel undertones. The beats that remain consistent during the whole song attributes to the consistency in the joy that being grateful will bring you, and the notion then of these beats mimicking the gospel sway and clap just makes you fall into the music and transcend yourself into joining in with that community spirit.

Family is clearly of high importance to ‘The Real J Israel’ and he makes admirable use of the passion and soul within this and evolves it into the compelling yet humble sound of his music. His history of gospel choirs and the church only enhance these notions, yet even as an atheistic listener you still feel embraced and loved through his words given the positioning this song has as a beautifully curated R&B ballad to life. Everyone has experienced life, so everyone can attune themselves to this touching tune.

‘The Real J Israel’s’ modern production combined with traditional instrumentation reflects on how deep-rooted the emotions of the song are, yet how we also need to look to the future and be grateful that we have another day to be grateful for all the love in our lives. His thoughtful style and clever curation make the prospect of new music from him all the more exciting.

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Words by Cecelia Koç