Janiva Magness is a testimonial to the power of love.
“Love is a bigger power than hate and darkness,” she explains. “It’s easy to forget that when we’re struggling or when the world often seems frightening and out of control. … [B]ut, in the end, love will always win.”
Magness knows how frightening and out of control the world can seem. She lost both parents to suicide at an early age and was in 12 foster homes while in the foster care system. At 17, she gave up a baby for adoption. It was a hard life, but love for music helped her find a way to a better one, first through witnessing an incendiary performance by the great Otis Rush and then by finding her own incendiary voice and talent for songwriting. After she began to find success, she found a further purpose through love as she became involved as a spokesperson for National Foster Care Week and an Ambassador for Foster Care Alumni of America and the Child Welfare League of America.
Love won yet again last year when Magness married English songwriter and bluesman T.J. Norton.
All of these events influence Magness’s joyful new album, Love Wins Again, a marvelous amalgamation of blues, soul, R&B, and pop that begins with the triumphant, gospel-tinged manifesto title track.
Romantic love is celebrated in the bluesy “When You Hold Me,” and Magness’s happiness rings clear in the joyful “Say You Will.” Magness’s activism is reflected in the powerful call to action “Your House Is Burnin’,” which will remind many listeners of James Brown with the punch of horns and percussion.
There is unfortunately a darker side of love, and it is represented, too, in “Moth to a Flame” and “Just Another Lesson,” because love is not always easy. More spiritual love is powerfully evident in the glorious cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic “Long As I Can See the Light” and the deeply thoughtful “Who Will Come for Me.”
Janiva Magness is a shining light for love and passion delivered with beauty and style. Love Wins Again is a real treasure. It will be released April 8 on Blue Elan Records. Look for it!