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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Another Journal Entry Expanded Edition

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Aug
  • COMMENTS
Another Journal Entry Expanded Edition
Sounds like … the melodic, rock-infused pop of Avril Lavigne, Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Clarkson, and in their louder moments, EvanescenceAt a glance … more an effort for diehard fans only, the disc does nicely showcase the girls' vocals on the acoustic bonus tracksTrack Listing Grey Let Go I Need You to Love Me Enough Porcelain Heart Take Me Away Psalm 23 (My God's Enough) 5 Minutes of Fame Thoughts of You No One Like You Never Alone (acoustic version) For the Beauty of the Earth On My Own (acoustic version) Porcelain Heart (acoustic version) I Need You to Love Me (acoustic version) Never Alone (radio edit)

Putting this particular album aside for just a moment, is anyone else sick of the whole "let's-re-release-a-popular-CD" trend? Sure, it's understandable from the record label's point of view—"Hmm, what can we do to tide listeners over until a group makes its next album?" But the whole concept is getting a little old, especially when there just isn't that much quality bonus material to justify a second release in the first place. Why not instead reserve such re-release for special occasions—classic albums—making sure to add plenty of B-sides, videos, and special packaging to justify it? Why punish fans by offering a "new and improved" version of the album they already bought to support the artist in the first place? Just a thought.

Now back to BarlowGirl and their particular re-release, yet another project where the "extras" are better suited for download from iTunes than justifying the purchase of the same CD. While there is one "new" song on Another Journal Entry Expanded Edition, a rather unremarkable, maudlin remake of the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth," all the added value here is three acoustic renditions of "On My Own," "Porcelain Heart" and "I Need You to Love Me," along with the radio edit and video for BarlowGirl's biggest hit, "Never Alone."

Yet despite the CD's lack of unique content, there's one thing worth raving about. Just as the acoustic version of "Never Alone" from the first release of this album improved upon the original, the same is true for the stripped-down bonus tracks on this disc, especially "I Need You to Love Me." Instead of the slightly overproduced feel of the originals, which often buried the vocals, these tracks actually do a fantastic job of spotlighting the impressive vocal blend and range of Rebecca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow, not to mention their positive message. The technique works so well, they should seriously consider incorporating it more into their true follow-up to Another Journal Entry.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.


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