Raquel Kiaraa’s “Dear Jesus” is a clear indication that as an artist, Kiaraa is an open book. She’s free to share her faith, she’s kind enough to sway the listener to her plight. And, with “Dear Jesus” Kiaraa restless piano movements keep the audience in the present. This is a song to be tethered to, to emotionally bonded. A follow-up to last year’s “Scorpio”, Kiaraa shows us once again she’s quickly making us a fan of her work. The tempo might be controlled, but the pace to which Kiaraa’s carries the listener in “Dear Jesus” is heart stirring. 

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It would be easy to pivot mentally to the Christian genre, but for the sake  of this review, let’s keep it generalized. I’d like to point out, that as a reviewer, I listened to this song on a musical level and not biased in a way that Kiaraa uses the word Jesus in the title. “Dear Jesus” is remarkable because I believe at its core, it’s a conversation that perhaps Kiaraa is having with herself. She’s writing these words down in the diary, a plan to get through her darker days. What is fascinating to me, as a listener, is that she sings with bravery. She’s not crying in her pillow at night. A content wave, a feeling of calm is woven into her vocal delivery. Something deep within her soul is a burst of light, a ray of sunlight shooting through the clouds. Call that divine intervention, natural talent or spark, she has it. 

Kiaraa saves the movement and the dramatics for the intricate piano arrangement. The keys sound lush, and dangle over an emerging percussion base. The rhythmic movements in “Dear Jesus” pitter patter along like a morning walk. You don’t quite have your heart rate pumping the first mile because you’re just taking in the sunrise, but by the song’s midsection, you’re at a bridge to cross over into more clarity and sereneness. While I listened I thought of Kiaraa, her mountainous voice, singing with just a piano in a vast countryside. She’s organic and one with nature. I think her story is universal – and you just don’t know what someone is going through. We can wear masks, we can present ourselves to our friends and families as having it all together, but deep down something might be amiss. I don’t think in this song Kiaraa is struggling with pain, but she’s dividing her attention.

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She’s not concerned with what she thinks she should focus on. That might be a relationship, her work or her art. I like how her lyrics don’t exactly pinpoint that and she leaves it up to the listener to decipher how they want. Songs like “Dear Jesus” are some of my favorites. It’s like choosing your own adventure and my mind gets to investigate several scenarios. The case is clear, though, “Dear Jesus” is joyful and uplifting in the traditional sense. In a nontraditional way, “Dear Jesus” leaves all the barriers at the door – all music fans are welcomed. 

Garth Thomas