Artist:    Paul Colman Trio
Label:   Essential Records

Still riding the momentum of a 2003 Dove Award for New Artist of the Year, Australian-bred Paul Colman Trio continues its driving-force groove on sophomore label release "One."

Much like the group’s radio-friendly debut, this album retains a well-balanced, not-too-soft/not-too-hard formula that sifts influences from U2, Jars of Clay and Sting.

One notable distinction sets this record apart from PC3’s first effort: tidy arrangements. No doubt this is the workmanship of experienced producer Brent Milligan, who chose restraint over heavy-handedness during the production process. Smart move. The result is a well-crafted project with less sheen but more substance.

Before going any further, props must be given to front man Paul Colman, whose supple vocals drift out like a warm, coastal breeze (imagine a less nasal version of Tom Petty). Whether he’s singing mid-tempo number “Pray” or a rockin’ cut like “Big Blue Planet,” Colman’s solid vocal aplomb consistently shines from start to finish.

The disc’s hands-down standout, “Save My Soul,” will easily become the most repeated track with those who prefer up-tempo selections. This straight-up rock anthem swells with adroit guitar riffs and abundant power chords. And it’s all juxtaposed with a timely theme of being spiritually relevant in a modern world. Also particularly potent is “Solution,” which, despite an implicit cliché that Jesus is the answer to all life’s problems, boasts a hooky backbeat and an irrepressible refrain.

All things considered, "One" ultimately reveals a continually maturing band capable of delivering inviting melodies and a transforming message. 


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