What We Want...
By Melissa Riddle-Chalos, senior content strategist, gmclife.com
Okay, so I'm a little late jumping on the Dave Barnes' bandwagon. I've heard his name bantered about here in Nashville as a clever singer/songwriter and part-time comedian (go figure!) with some big-name fans (Amy Grant, John Mayer). But somehow I missed out on his 2008 debut, Me and You and the World. I'm guessing that many of you did, too.
Never fear: What We Want, What We Get gives us a second chance to get in on the near-secret. From the contagious sunny-pop opener, "Little Lies" all the way to the benediction ballad "Amen," Dave Barnes delivers a musically eclectic - think pop/soul/jazz - lyrically rich collection of songs about that place where love, faith and humanity meet.
The smooth, sexy (yes, I said it) title track rings true in so many ways - "Sometimes what we want isn't what we get, sometimes what we get ain't really what we want" - if you're breathing it will resonate with you. Toss in producer du jour Ed Cash (Chris Tomlin, Bebo Norman, Caedmon's Call), a little vocal help from Jonny Lang and Barnes' own playful way with a lyric, and it's easy to see why the buzz is what it is.
Still, what I like best about Barnes is his penchant for writing about that place outside the typical Christian music framework. It's not openly evangelical or anything resembling modern worship, and yet the artist's faith rings clear in songs like "God Gave Me You," a simply beautiful love song and a standout on the CD, "What I Need," a song about independence/dependence on God, and in "You Do the Same For Me," a song about bearing each other's burdens.
Think about the best singer/songwriters in your music collection, the ones who craft songs that stick in your head long after you're unplugged, and add Dave Barnes to the mix. He's that good. Need a little proof? Just give a hard listen to "Little Lies" a stunning, playful example of the depth of Barnes' songwriting genius: "Words can be daffodils, or a fire in an open field. I'm sitting here in the ash of stupid words I can't take back. La la la... these little lies..."
Now that I know the secret, I'm going back for his debut.
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