They Need Love
- reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Mar
- You Are a Storm
- They Need Love
- Never Know You
- Writing You A Song
- Hold Me
- I Can See You
- Soon She Will Run
- Other Guys
- Fool for Live
- He Would Tell You
If his initial career path had gone his way, singer/songwriter Jonny Diaz would today be competing for a spot in the World Series. As the fourth brother in his family to go to college on a baseball scholarship, Diaz was prepping for the big leagues at Florida State University. But instead of a bat, Diaz eventually felt a stirring in his heart to pick up a guitar, and the rest, as they say in showbiz, was history.
When peers like John Mayer are experimenting with blues or Bebo Norman with polished pop, Diaz manages to put his own stamp on the whole sensitive guy with a guitar motif, proving that it's still cool to be an acoustic-based artist. What really separates Diaz from the Mayers and Normans of the music scene is his voice, which has a smooth but earthy, almost world-weary quality about it, as heard on his third indie release, They Need Love.
Thus, while an energetic worshipful opening like "You Are a Storm" could easily go in a predictable direction, Diaz's vocals really deliver the necessary panache. He does even better with earnest love songs like "Writing You a Song" (a surefire hit with the ladies) and "Fool For Love," which sounds like a decidedly less cheesy version of something Rascal Flatts would record—and I mean that in the best possible way, with several clever turns of phrase in the lyricism to boot.
While "Monotone" and "He Would Tell You" don't exactly offer much new musically, Diaz's vocal delivery and smart lyrics rescue what could have been more lackluster—the true sign of a great performance and a resourceful artist. It certainly doesn't hurt to have Mitch Dane (Jars of Clay, Bebo Norman) on board as a producer, not to mention several of Nashville's biggest players, all helping to give They Need Love a rich and inviting sound. Yet the album's true highlights are the strengths that Diaz brings to the table—qualities that should put Diaz on the musical radar and keep him playing ball for years to come.
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