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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Here with Me

  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 May
Here with Me
Sounds like … hook-laden pop/rock in the vein of Hawk Nelson, Kelly Clarkson, Jeremy Camp, The Afters, and Jessie Daniels.At a glance … Immediate, catchy, and heartfelt—if Kelly Clarkson had a fraternal twin, he would probably sound a lot like Nate Huss.Track Listing Spotlight
Down to Love
Here with Me
You Still Know My Name
Hold Me
Against the Wall
While You Wait
Show Me How
I'm Fine
Your Own

After introducing us to impressive newcomers like Charity Von and DecembeRadio, rising label Slanted Records continues its signing streak with red-hot new artist Nate Huss, a young and eager Phoenix native ready to unleash his debut Here with Me to the masses. Huss is the youngest of eight adopted siblings—he grew up alongside two white brothers, a Korean sister, a black brother, and a Mexican brother, forming what he proudly calls a "united nations family."

With such an ethnically integrated unit, one would think that Huss' first album might sound a little more…cosmopolitan. Instead, Here with Me is pure pop/rock bliss, chock-full of soaring melodies, Top 40 hooks, and mainstream accessibility. It's one of those albums a music coordinator for primetime TV would have a field day licensing for various shows—that's how immediate and current it sounds.

Despite the standard format, Huss sells his material convincingly, singing every lyric as if it were his last. In most of them, he lays himself bare before the Lord, telling him that he's weak, up against the wall, lying on the floor, screaming out, in need of him. Call it sensitive guy-pop, but it's nonetheless affecting—if not for the simplicity of his sentiments, at least for how heartfelt they come across.

All of these misgivings aren't particularly revealing, but they come into sharper focus in light of "Your Own," a song Huss dedicated to his birth mother: "I'm a result of your love/Bone of your bone, but not exactly your own." It's a powerful track, the one with the most personality, and a harbinger of the kind of singer/songwriter Huss could become were he to embrace his heritage (as well as his personality) not just in principle, but also in song.

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