- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2005 1 Jun
- The Way to Begin
- My Savior
- Fall to Pieces
- Reflections of You
- Lovely Traces
- Sing for Me
- Can't Stay
Sixteen-year-old Krystal Meyers, who lives with her family in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, started songwriting at 10 and soon caught the attention of Essential with her peer-oriented music. Having already scored a No. 1 radio hit before the release of her self-titled debut with the catchy surrender anthem "The Way to Begin," it's fair to say that she's off to a strong start.
Ian Eskelin and Wizardz of Oz (Avril Lavigne, Eskelin) produced the album, and though Meyers has writing credit on every track, many of them benefit from Eskelin's additional mastery of melodic hooks. This candy-coated, punk-tinged rock album is a bit like All Star United (Eskelin's old band) with a female vocalist, but there's a more obvious comparison. Meyers and her team have said that they intentionally tried not to emulate Lavigne, but considering Meyers' look, style, and strong rock chick vocal, the comparison is unavoidable and more than apt. Even the central "Anticonformity" message echoes Lavigne, both musically and thematically, though here it's about rebelling against the status quo by finding identity in God.
Too bad Meyers doesn't delve as deeply into relevant teen issues as Superchick or BarlowGirl. Most of the disc relies on simplistic rockers about God's goodness ("My Savior," "Fall to Pieces," "Fire") and additional surrender confessionals ("Rescue," "Can't Stay") that lyrically befit ZOEgirl. But the young artist's lack of depth isn't too clichéd, and will only improve with time and perspective. And though the songs blend together musically, it's an overall good debut that will satisfy anyone looking for more radio-friendly pop/rock. Meyers delivers what is expected, and does it better than most with the help of her producers.
There's nothing wrong with sounding too much like Avril, but it's the difference between being your own artist and too closely conjuring the style of another. Depending on your point of view, the greatest strength/weakness of Meyers' debut is that it's too "Complicated," yet not complicated at all.