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Don't Get Comfortable

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Sep
Don't Get Comfortable
Sounds like … the earthy pop/rock renderings of David Wilcox, Bebo Norman, and Dave BarnesAt a glance … While Heath's lyrics have a certain relatable quality, there aren't enough hooks or memorable melodies to distinguish one track from the next—or the disc overallTrack Listing Steady Now Simple Man Don't Get Comfortable Our God Reigns Red Sky You Decide I'm Not Who I Was Let's Make It Last I Will Lay You Down The Light Beauty Divine

Armed with a bold and always-pertinent call to action for fellow believers as his album title suggests, one would expect to hear something slightly risky—or at least a little left of center—with singer/songwriter Brandon Heath's major-label debut. But unfortunately, the majority of this project falls squarely into "safe" (a.k.a. comfortable) territory.

Don't Get Comfortable comes across as sounding like the former indie artist borrowed a few of Bebo Norman's less catchy B-sides. Of course, since Norman and Heath have teamed up together in the past, it wouldn't be surprising if there were a few similarities between their work. But unfortunately songs like "Steady Now," "Simple Man" and "Our God Reigns" tread a little too close to Norman's previous material for comfort, which doesn't allow the Nashville native to shine and firmly establish his own musical identity.

That's really a shame considering that Heath demonstrates an aptitude for wordplay that's refreshingly confessional in nature, especially on the forgiveness-themed "I'm Not Who I Was" and the faith-affirming "Let's Make It Last." Yet, like many of the tracks on Don't Get Comfortable, the dry, mid-tempo arrangements don't do much to spotlight his adept songwriting. Instead, the words get buried beneath the less-than-stellar accompaniment, which is surprising given the usually innovative direction of producer Dan Muckala (Nick Lachey, Backstreet Boys, The Afters) and the contributions of some of the industry's finest players.

But despite its flaws, there's still enough that's promising about this album to indicate that Heath is capable of making a project that stands out on future outings, rather than simply blending in with the rest of the pack. Here's hoping he lives up to his title and comes up with something more distinctive some day.

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