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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jul
Sounds like … a poppier version of Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich, Rascal Flatts, Diamond Rio, and similar male groups in contemporary country.At a glance … winsome harmonies, light country-pop instrumentation, and overt Christian sentiment abound in this debut by CO3.Track Listing Godspeed
Good News
It's You
I'll Go
He Speaks
Step Out on Faith
Well Done
Beyond Praise
Be Still

The trend of faith-based country artists is in full swing in Christian music. The latest addition to the growing ranks is CO3, a new duo made up of acoustic guitarist Chad Little and keyboardist Dave Romero. For an idea of what they sound like, consider the pair's history—Romero earned his chops while serving as a worship pastor in Oklahoma, while Little logged time as bandleader for a then undiscovered Carrie Underwood.

Once they hit it off, the twosome's synergy was such that it led to the creation of CO3, a Christian alternative to Brooks & Dunn, Big & Rich, and other male-fronted country outfits. The group's label is using all sorts of marketing hooks to sell the CO3 brand—Colossians 3 (about holy living), carbon trioxide, and Chord of Three (one of the duo's early monikers). The chemical nomenclature is the most curious one; the label says it's an explosive element on the periodic table, but carbon trioxide is a compound, neither an element nor found on the table.

Regardless, CO3's national debut Determined is a pleasant introduction, one awash in winsome harmonies and light country-pop instrumentation. It's not quite as slick as Rascal Flatts (or its Christian clone 33Miles) or as down and dirty as Montgomery Gentry, but it strikes a happy medium between the two, mixing worshipful acoustic pop ("It's You"), acoustic rock ("Godspeed," misused as a reference to God's timing instead of a farewell), and even some adult contemporary ("He Speaks") for an agreeable concoction.

It's so agreeable, in fact, that one wishes things were a little more country. Aside from the Southern-inspired harmonies and the slight twang in the singers' voices, CO3 stops short of letting their inner cowboy show. "Good News" is the most daring track, but even its sentiments are more didactic ("It's all about Jesus and the good, good news!") than country's recent faith anthems and down-home narratives. Though far from explosive, this duo still deserves a mild recommendation.

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