Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Becki Ryan Comes to the Fore with Make a Way

  • 2007 20 Sep
Becki Ryan Comes to the Fore with <i>Make a Way</i>

Artist:  Becki Ryan
Title:  Make a Way
Label:  Eb & Flo Records

You probably don’t realize you’ve heard Becki Ryan before, but she has sung backup for artists as diverse as Amy Grant, Clay Aiken and Hilary Duff, sang the feature song in the film Flicka, and even sings the NBC Today Show promo theme (“It’s a New Day”).  Yet Becki feels strongly that her true calling is to lead Christ followers in worship.

Ryan had a hand in co-writing about half of the album’s songs, and she lined up a strong production team for her Eb + Flo debut, with Jeremy Casella and Scott Denté manning the guitars and Monroe Jones covering the keyboards and the production chores. Needless to say, the guitars sparkle throughout, most notably maybe on the standout track “This Is Why You Came,” with its infectious and beautifully arranged chorus. The crisp production allows the keys and guitars to shine through, and is that a recorder whistling beneath it all? Gorgeous.

Tinkling opener “Be the Air” opens the disc, the straight-up pop worship not really representing Ryan’s best vocal effort. The nuanced “Revival” showcases her engaging tones better, as well as highlighting the glimmering guitars and sensitive percussion. Her duet partner is unacknowledged in the credits, but they blend beautifully. Ryan can easily cover the soft vocal path, but I enjoy her most when she adds her unique quirky edge, giving a Leigh Nash-like effect to the title track. Her vocals on the chorus carry an odd chanting effect that injects a winning antiquated feel to the quiet track. Make a Way will make an effective and intuitive devotional aid for worshippers of many diverse backgrounds.

I like the juxtaposition of delicate instrumentation and Ryan’s brawny vocals as “Higher” progresses, and the personality-imbued “By Your Wounds” takes the same tact to the next level. The opening hushed tones move into crooning of the warmest variety over an achingly lovely cello. Again, the worshipful feel makes this track a strong devotional aid. My only caveat would be its placement in a somewhat extended stretch of quiet tracks. Serious worshippers will not even notice; others may feel the energy drop.

The tempo picks up a bit with the rockin’ chorus of “Everything,” thick with swirling sound.  Yes, the lush fuzziness of “Peace” drops things back down, but the dream vibe works organically. Pop track “Holy One” kicks the energy up once again with its oddly bouncy orchestration. I thoroughly enjoyed the disc’s final two tracks, both wildly melodic. “Wonders” sticks out for its grand movements, but “Fragrant” went straight to my iPod for its deep worship powers. Any worshipper will consider Becki Ryan’s Make a Way a valuable addition to their library.

© 2007  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

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