Coffey Anderson's Self-Titled Debut a Likable Blend
- Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Artist: Coffey Anderson
Title: Coffey Anderson
Label: Dream Records
If you are a reality show fanatic or a viral video junkie, Coffey Anderson (whose first name is pronounced "Cough A") may already be on your radar. The likable Texan briefly made it to Hollywood in the second season of American Idol and ranked fourth on Nashville Star in 2008.
Coffey has also cracked YouTube's code, amassing over six million views of his charming guitar lesson/cover tune posts where he plays anything from The Black Eyed Peas to Colbie Caillat. Now imagine those tuneful hip-hop and pop artists' styles mixed with a strong modern praise energy and message, all somehow rooted in soulful Southern rock sensibility, and you'll have an idea of what Anderson's self-titled debut sounds like. If that seems all over the place—not unlike today's televised star searches—don't let it deter you from discovering this fun, inspiring talent who has finally clicked the right creative link.
Thematically, Coffey's lyrics reflect his degree in Practical Theology. What better way to share his biblical knowledge than through conversational songs—sometimes he talks directly to the listener—based on 2 Chronicles 7:14("Seek My Face"), Matthew 11:28("All Ye"), Luke 1:46("My Soul Magnifies"), or Luke 8:36("Free")? Yet the subject matter is never prohibitively heady. In fact, the album sounds as youth group ready as tobyMac when the lighthearted raps and human beat-boxing rev up memorable cuts like "Comes Down to It" and "All Ye." The Jack Johnson/Jason Mraz island reggae vibe of "Rebuild Your Faith" matched with Anderson's R&B inflected vocal runs is also an easygoing winner. If there's a misstep anywhere in the mix, it's the dance floor take on kid classic "Father Abraham." The only cover tune here, such a novelty moment really doesn't gel too well on a set that also contains effective emotional, crossover-potential ballads like "Better Today" (perfect for weddings) or the touching acoustic rock anthem "All the Way to Texas."
In all, Coffey Anderson shouldn't be labeled a reality show also-ran or internet fad. His fine songwriting, dynamic voice, and matchless enthusiasm are signs of a new artist with staying power.
**This review first published on October 5, 2010.
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