I Turn to You
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2008 1 Jun
- Carry the Cross
- I Turn to You
- Stay with Me Lord
- He's Alive
- Handle with Prayer
- What Would He Do
- Blessed Are the Hands That Give
- Hey God (acoustic)
After 15 years as the lead vocalist of Lonestar, Richie McDonald left the superstar country band behind to spend more time with family while focusing on other kinds of music. He started his solo career in 2007 with
Lonestar has always treaded a fine line between country and pop, evidenced by their signature hit "Amazed." This album falls more clearly into AC pop territory, with only the occasional slide guitar, mandolin, and McDonald's Southern-grown vocals to remind us of his country roots. But going the pop route is not unusual in today's country music climate, and since most big-name artists have relied on covers of church classics for inspirational country, McDonald had the opportunity to branch out and offer something new with his original songs of faith.
Unfortunately, "something new" and "original" are two qualities sorely lacking here. Encouragement abounds, especially in the title ballad, which affirms God's strength as a source of comfort for all. But "Carry the Cross" is by-the-numbers pop resembling Mark Harris, NewSong, and Michael English—and not nearly as good. Lest you confuse "He's Alive" with Don Francisco's Easter-themed classic, this one's an extremely formulaic AC pop expression of Christ living in us. For that matter, the lyrics say nothing insightful about faith that hasn't been worded more meaningfully in other songs. As you might guess, "What Would He Do" is merely a rehash of WWJD, and the album's most clever lyric is a testament to prayer with the hokey title "Handle with Prayer."
The greatest frustration? McDonald is also releasing a country project in 2008 called