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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Jan
Sounds like … well-produced, singer/songwriter-styled pop reminiscent of Bebo Norman, Josh Rouse, or a less lovesick John MayerAt a glance … performing experience and production savvy play to Houston's advantage on Daybreak, a well-crafted collection of mostly acoustic pop tracksTrack Listing I Belong to Love Hand to the Plow Audience of One Daybreak Waiting on You The Best of Me October Brings Me Down Falling Back to Earth Dying for a Change Sweet Georgia Rain

Hailing from the Atlanta music scene, singer/songwriter Chip Houston gave up his steady gig as a history teacher in 2001 to pursue his musical ambitions. A risky move, perhaps, but one that's seemed to pay off as he's been able to extensively tour the Southeast area, playing everywhere from morning TV and radio shows, to a George Foreman charity boxing event, to the famed Eddie's Attic where John Mayer got his start. And with plenty of life experiences to draw on-from being newly married to time spent on the road-he's also been able to hone his songwriting craft in the process. As a result of the extra effort, Houston's latest, Daybreak, is a giant leap forward for the burgeoning songwriter.

While retaining the catchy pop/rock sensibilities of his debut, Chasing the Dark, the overall sound of Daybreak is much more cohesive, favoring an acoustic pop approach. Although the whole sensitive-guy-with-a-guitar act has certainly been done before, Houston's lyrics bring something new to the equation, whether it's when he misses his wife in "October Brings Me Down" or the nostalgic feel of "Sweet Georgia Rain."

Another positive element is how his faith and Christian worldview are evident without feeling too forced or heavy handed, making him accessible to both Christian and mainstream audiences. While probably not a deliberate move, it makes Houston more marketable to potential label suitors. "My (music) is not necessarily Christian," Houston said in an interview before his CD release party in Atlanta. "I write an equal number of pain and relationship songs, and some about God as well."

Also helping matters is having Jars of Clay producer Mitch Dane's fingerprints on the project. With the less is more approach and varied instrumentation that made Jars' Who We Are Instead one of their best, Dane has a way of letting Houston shine, even when the songs begin to sound a little too similar-to each other, and to the mainstream; the opening track easily could be mistaken for Mayer's hit "No Such Thing." Still, there's plenty to like about Daybreak, a project that should properly introduce Houston to a slew of new singer/songwriter lovin' brethren in the days to come.

For more information about Chip Houston and his album, visit

If you are an independent artist who would like to be considered for review on our site, please send your CD(s) and any related press materials to editor of independent artist coverage:

Christa Banister
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300 E. 4th St. Suite 406
St. Paul, MN 55101

Due to the number of projects we receive, we are unable to cover or correspond with every artist that contributes. But we do give all submissions a fair listen for coverage consideration.

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