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Reinventing the Wheel

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Jan
Reinventing the Wheel
Sounds like … storyteller folk/pop in the vein of David Wilcox, Rich Mullins, Andrew Osenga, and old-school Bebo NormanAt a glance … circumspect observations of love, grace and humanity, plus a healthy dose of humor, all make Reinventing the Wheel a rewarding listenTrack Listing Original Cliché Nobody Wants to Work How Precious Life Is Desperate Man Roast Beef Alright Here That Guy More of a Man Enough Time Holy Ground Give it Time

The majority of the tracks on Reinventing the Wheel are adorned with little more than an acoustic guitar. But singer/songwriter Andy Gullahorn saves the special artistic flourishes for his lyrics. He certainly knows how to craft a pretty melody, and the intricate strains of "Desperate Man" and "Roast Beef" prove his guitar skills aren't merely perfunctory. But his lyrical insights are most appreciated these days when so many artists are favoring style over substance.

Gullahorn has probably read his fair share of reviews over the years, so he understands the tension between reflecting musical influences and coming up with something truly unique. He also seems to understand that he need only apply himself to take a familiar concept and phrase it with originality.

Such is the case with "Original Cliché," which reminds us that we all struggle and fall short: "You say that no one understands you/So you walk the world alone/Trying so hard to be different/That you're really just a clone." He eloquently continues the conversation with "Desperate Man," affirming that it's "such a lonely way to live" without God's daily intervention.

While Gullahorn's thoughts on faith are chock-full of meaning, it's the personal touches that truly separate him from other folkies. Instead of settling for an abstract, generic point of view, listeners get to know Gullahorn through his songcraft. In "More of a Man," he readily admits he's not that cool now that he's watching "dora the Explorer" and "Gilmore Girls" as a family man, and that his metabolism is "obviously slowing." Later, in "Give It Time," he reveals how the funny little quirks about his wife (fellow singer/songwriter Jill Phillips) are actually some of the qualities he's learned to love the most.

Such sweet and insightful lyrics, along with Gullahorn's emotive pipes—a cross between Andrew Osenga, Bebo Norman, and Jeremy Casella—make this a truly substantive listening experience. Gullahorn may not be reinventing the wheel, but at least he's following his own path.

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