Six years and four releases into his stellar career, Mark Schultz has made quite a name for himself. His smart songwriting, catchy hooks, and stories that could make a grown man cry have made him one of CCM's premier names. And now he's released his first full-length studio effort since 2003's Stories and Songs, in the form of Broken and Beautiful. Schultz's latest has all the right ingredients. It's catchy ("40 Days"), smart ("Broken and Beautiful"), and tear-inducing ("Walking Her Home" and "She Was Watching"), so it's got to be a winner right?
Yes and no. While everything Mark Schultz does best remains intact, it just seems a bit formulaic this time around. That's not to say that this isn't still an excellent release (Schultz has yet to put out a mediocre album), but Broken and Beautiful just might not be regarded as his strongest effort.
And though it feels a bit predictable, it's still Mark Schultz, and he's still one of the best in the business. Though some of the charm and class is missing on his latest, he remains a master at writing songs that have an instant connection with listeners.
His legacy therein lies. Fans of Schultz have another impressive piece of work to add to their library. Though some might consider this one the least bit redundant, most will see this as another wonderful addition to the Mark Schultz collection.- Review date: 10/03/06, written by Josh Taylor
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