- reviewed by Andrea Dawn Goforth Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Aug
- Right Now
- More Real
- Quiet My Heart
- Quite Streets
- Paper Tigers
It could be said that people with a history of panic attacks should never be in the same room as
In the press materials, Barrettsmith describes herself as the female Jeremy Camp. With a style that's a little less worship and a little more post-hardcore, her sound is actually much closer to Anberlin (also produced by Sprinkle), Paramore, and Flyleaf.
The album opens with the hard-hitting rock song, "Right Now," followed by the single "Farewell," and though both are well-produced and performed, neither brings anything new to the table. In fact, "Right Now" sounds borrowed straight from Anberlin's
The strongest tracks are surprisingly found in the album's second half. In the punk-paced, Avril-styled "Anymore," Barrettsmith speaks honestly about a personal relationship which ended and left her feeling betrayed. There's genuine passion to it ("I don't even know you anymore!"), showing a more complex style of writing and offering the kind of raw emotion missing from some of the earlier tracks.
Throughout the album, Barretsmith sings powerfully and displays Kelly Clarkson-like vocal chops that took her far on
Barrettsmith's songs do offer hope and spirituality from the perspective of a strong, young woman. Being a youth leader at her local church, Barrettsmith's music adds another venue in which she is influencing youth in a positive way. Her single "Farewell" calls us to, "Say farewell to all of your mistakes/Forgive yourself/It's a brand new day."
Though this album feels a little familiar in lyrical expression and style, there's still enough for listeners to genuinely like in this rocker chick's personality and message. It's a debut that's worth a listen, and hopefully the stepping stone to a more ingenious follow-up.