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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Aug
Sounds like … soulful programmed pop/rock with an AC bent, particularly similar to Margaret Becker, Annie Lennox, AvalonAt a glance … though some of her sophomore effort treads familiar ground, there are some breathtaking tracks to be heard hereTrack ListingJacob's WellNot You AgainResurrectionAnything & EverythingSafeCrazy in LoveAll That I Believe InThe Spirit in MeBetter PlaceHallelujah

After five years and four albums worth of strong music sales and acclaim, all three members of Selah are taking a crack at solo projects. Resurrection is actually the second CD from Nicol Sponberg (nee Smith). Newly married and more experienced as an artist, she has more food for thought here than on her first solo effort; she co-write half of the 10 songs on the new album, capably produced by Mark Heimermann (Stacie Orrico, dc Talk).

Sponberg's tastes lean towards AC pop/rock with soulful R&B undertones. With her powerful and husky vocal, she often sounds like classic Margaret Becker or the latest audition for Avalon; in "Better Place," she almost eerily mimics the vocal quartet via overdubbed harmonies. Other songs like "Safe" and "Anything & Everything" tread familiar ground in Christian pop, recalling the likes of Kathy Troccoli, Lisa Bevill, and Bonnie Keen.

The weakest songs are at least fair, whereas the best tracks are breathtaking. Sponberg is capable of striking that fine balance between power and fragility, evident in the music of Annie Lennox and George Michael. In fact, the resemblance to Lennox is uncanny in songs like "Jacob's Well" and "Crazy in Love." Upbeat "Not You Again" is an aggressive and feisty rebuke of recurring sin, and "All That I Believe In" could well be the year's most dramatic mega-power ballad, oozing with strength and conviction. Resurrection closes with "Hallelujah," a rousing electronic dance rock groove about Christ's second coming, backed by a full gospel choir. A familiar sounding album, it's nonetheless done with excellence and diversity, suggesting that Sponberg's heart was more in this than it was on Selah's Hiding Place.