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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Ana Laura

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Mar
Ana Laura
Sounds like … something akin to the pop/rock of Kelly Clarkson, Celine Dion, Jaci Velasquez, Joy Williams, and Rachael LampaAt a glance … reminiscent of the great diva-pop albums of the '90s, newcomer Ana Laura could be poised for big things if given the proper platformTrack Listing Sometimes No More If You Ever Fall (Prelude) If You Ever Fall Water Safe in You Completely Don't Run Away Giver of Life Because You Loved Me Abide in Me

It's been ten years since Jaci Velasquez released her now-classic debut Heavenly Place, yet somehow its innocence and unrestrained beauty are no longer commonplace in today's music landscape, Christian or otherwise. It's too early to say whether Ana Laura will make history return to the days of yore, but at least her self-titled debut recalls the days when all audiences wanted to hear was a good pop vocal.

Like most of its antecessors, the inaugural disc from this 19-year-old from Brownville, Texas, does a good job of capturing the singer's biggest asset: her voice. Her pristine, crystal-clear tone is equal parts Kelly Clarkson, Rachael Lampa, and Velasquez herself, and like those singers at their outset, she prefers to rely on the songwriting strengths of others to best showcase her vocal talent.

That's okay, given that diva-pop is all about performance and aplomb, of which Ana Laura has plenty. Whether showing her Latin blood in the syncopated "Water," rocking out like Clarkson in "Don't Run Away," or soaring in the haunting "If You Ever Fall," the singer knows how to adapt her style to the whims of her producer, who seems to have a deft pulse on what works from a pop perspective.

In a strange marriage of the neo-classical and the contemporary, Ana Laura seems particularly at home during the numbers that combine pop/rock with symphonic undercurrents, like the sweeping "Giver of Life," the aggressive "Sometimes," and the lovely "Completely," all of which ooze with commercial appeal. (We'll ignore her unnecessary reading of Diane Warren's "Because You Loved Me" for now).

Though CCM doesn't make albums like this anymore, Ana Laura is a nostalgic reminder of why we liked pop divas to begin with, and perhaps may encourage its fanciful heroines to get back to what first made them popular.

© Andree Farias, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.