By Debra Akins, contributing editor, GospelMusicChannel.com
When the Crabb Family officially retired in late 2007 to pursue individual careers, lead singer Jason Crabb admits to being "a nervous wreck" about branching out on his own musical path without losing the favor of the audience that knows and loves him best. But as his anticipated self-titled solo project finally debuts (June 30), it's quite clear he had nothing to worry about.
Produced by Tommy Sims (Amy Grant, Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald) and Norro Wilson (Kenny Chesney, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain), this 12-track set also brandishes credits from such top Nashville songwriters as Neil Thrasher, Radney Foster, Gordon Kennedy, and Crabb's father and award-winning writer Gerald Crabb, among others. But even with that kind of musical pedigree to boast, what sets this album and artist apart is The Voice. Jason Crabb has one of the most acclaimed voices in all of Gospel music - and with good reason. Few vocalists can match the soaring, soulful approach Crabb masters on every song, whether it's a driving, full-country tune, an R&B-infused gospel, or a southern gospel classic. And they're all represented here.
Highlights include the debut gospel single "Walk on Water," "Ellsworth" (featuring Vince Gill on BGVs), "Sometimes I Cry," and "Somebody Like Me," the album's first country single. Crabb also takes on the classic Cathedrals tune "Daystar," joined appropriately by the Gaither Vocal Band, since he sounds an awful lot like Michael English, who recorded it with GVB in the '90s.
With this solo debut, Crabb stands firmly on his own (as if anyone doubted he would). He attacks each lyric with a passion, intensity and emotion that cause the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. There is no question this man was born to sing. And this album bears the proof.
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