Hillsong Worship's Brooke Fraser (Ligertwood)'s Albertine turns 15 this week. Albertine was Fraser's second solo album and it was released in New Zealand and in the Oceanic region's iTunes Store on 4 December 2006. The album was released in the US on 27 May 2008 and entered the Billboard 200 at No. 90 on 19 July 2008. Albertine became Fraser's second No. 1 album, and she became the only second New Zealand artist in history to have a consecutive album release and have it debut at the No. 1 position on the New Zealand album charts.
The deluxe version features a bonus CD of eight live recordings (including a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sounds of Silence"), an entirely new booklet and double gatefold digipack packaging. "C.S. Lewis Song" was released as a radio single to promote this re-release.
Fraser reflects, "2005-2006 were the years that my sophomore album "Albertine" was written, recorded and released. They were life defining for me in many ways. I was wrestling with how best to contribute to the world. Was music enough? Songs and stories can change things - but can they change enough? (Our upcoming podcast dives into all this) And then came the commission. Writing "Albertine" (the song) was not my idea. In 2005 in a dusty schoolroom on the outskirts of Kigali, Rwanda, after telling me a story of survival that did indeed change things, World Vision worker Joel Nsengiyumva (pictured driving the World Vision truck in one of the pics above and also in a portrait) charged me with writing a song called "Albertine" and telling the world their story (also a pic of her when I returned to give her the album bearing her name in 2007). And so for the next three years I did so. It was a promise that cost a lot to keep, but would have cost my soul more not to.
It is not hard for me to believe that 15 years have passed since these songs were released into the world. In many ways I feel like I have lived many lifetimes in this one. The "time" part isn't hard to grasp. But the impact is impossible to grasp - and for this I take zero credit. The stories I've heard of people listening to this record and it contributing to a sometimes radical shift of mindset and life trajectory - people becoming aid workers or social workers, people launching initiatives and startups that continue to impact developing nations, people deciding that they would spend their lives for something greater than themselves.
I guess songs really can change things. It all depends what you do with them.
Thank you for listening - in more ways than one. And thank you for writing your own stories in such a way that the stories of others are more hopeful because of it."