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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Feb
Sounds like … soulful pop similar to Bob Carlisle, Wayne Watson or Steve Green, filled with clean productionAt a glance … the follow-up to 2002's Somebody's Praying Me Through has likeable qualities and mighty vocals, though it lacks originality. Track ListingThis Is My Father's World Life to the LivingDay of Our GodWe Will StandYou Are My GodIt Belongs oo YouLove Is an Uphill ClimbOneI Have Seen, I BelieveThere Will Be a Better DaySomebody's Praying Me Through

When Doxology Records formed in 2002, Allen Asbury released the company's first record, Somebody's Praying Me Through. The project featured his blue-eyed soul pipes and shiny production by Chris Harris, generating three top five inspirational radio singles. The most notable of the bunch was the title cut, which not only rose to No. 1 in the format, but also became the 2003 theme song for the Presidential Prayer Team and the National Day of Prayer.

Asbury returns with Stand, now offering cuts he co-wrote with others rather than just interpreting what was penned for him. This leap is a strength for Asbury, allowing a more personal view of faith to shine through the bubbly love anthem "Life to the Living" and the lively tribute to his wife "It Belongs To You." Even more inviting is his combination of that first person perspective with Russ Taff, who lends his co-writing and vocals to the unity focused ballad "We Will Stand," complete with sweeping orchestral swells courtesy of producer Don Koch (4Him, Greg Long).

But aside from coming at listeners from a more personal place, the arrangements—though pleasing overall—offer little of musical interest compared to Asbury's debut and countless other inspirational and adult contemporary artists. The bland guitar sweeps and predictable choir throughout "You Are My God" sounds recycled from other recordings, and "Love Is an Uphill Climb" could very easily be mistaken for the work of Clay Crosse, Bob Carlisle and Wayne Watson. "I Have Seen, I Believe" borders on sap with the heavily pumped strings. Anyone seeking a great voice delivering inspiration will find lots to love here, but Asbury would be better served boosting the creativity while delivering the encouragement so many need to hear.