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reviewed by Andree FariasCopyright Christianity Today International
Sounds like … a harder-edged version of Avril Lavigne, Ashlee Simpson, Hilary Duff, Jessie Daniels, BarlowGirl, and other teen pop/chick rockAt a glance … Krystal Meyers doesn't change what worked so well on her label debut, but simply upgrades it to meet the standards of today's girlie pop/rockTrack Listing Collide Live The Beauty of Grace The Situation Love Is on the Run Only You Make Me Happy Together Shake It Off Stand and Scream Hallelujah
There's something about teen Christian singers and Japanese audiences. Teen pop/rock damsel Krystal Meyers is the latest adolescent sensation to strike a chord in the Asian country—R&B starlets Stacie Orrico and Kierra "KiKi" Sheard both made a mark of their own there not too long ago—scoring a hit album and single which have rivaled even those of seasoned veterans.
Whatever the reasons, people overseas love Meyers, as does her own stateside fan base, which has been waiting dutifully for Dying for a Heart, her sophomore album for Essential Records. Released only a year and a couple of months after her self-titled 2005 debut, Dying for a Heart is for all intents and purposes a continuation of Meyers' first outing, except with a sound that's more aggressive and harder-hitting than the slick, yet generally derivative feel of her debut.
That's right: Heart is pretty hard, and, for the first time, it gives Meyers a slight edge over the competition. Whereas Krystal Meyers felt like a belated, after-the-fact response to the success of Avril Lavigne and Ashlee Simpson, Heart slightly outperforms either singer's recent efforts by employing emo and pop-punk influences for a forceful, more full-bodied album. Not that you should go in expecting a hardcore Underoath record—there's still an unmistakable pop undercurrent pulsating throughout, both melodically and otherwise.
Thematically, Meyers delves deeper, tackling pre-marital sex ("The Situation"), the dilution of love ("Love Is on the Run"), the need to belong ("Together"), and the gift of unmerited favor ("The Beauty of Grace"). Despite the meatier lyrics—nine of which she had a hand in writing—the remainder of Dying for a Heart ("Shake It Off," "Collide," "Only You Make Me Happy") is one-hundred percent age-appropriate: earnest, youthful declarations of love and devotion to a God who rawks.