It's been a few years now since South African alt rock act The Benjamin Gate disbanded. Since its demise, the band's lead vocalist Adrienne Liesching married fellow artist Jeremy Camp, has become a mother twice over, and has crafted her debut solo project. Under the moniker Adie, Adrienne releases Don't Wait, a stylistic departure from her previous band that is likely to appease old fans while attracting the attention of many new ones.
Don't Wait is a distinctly more pop venture than what Adrienne has been involved with previously. The pop/rock elements still exist, but Don't Wait has a lot more of a contemporary sound. Those who found Benjamin Gate too edgy will find Adie's sound to be more accessible and soothing. The songwriting themes have changed as well. Don't Wait borders on being a worship record from start to finish, offering very tender and more intimate moments in the process, like with "What Have I Done?" or "Overwhelm." Adie's sound is more mature in the sense that it seems geared more towards an older crowd than Benjamin Gate was. The verses and melody of "If I'll Ever" even slightly bears a resemblance to Amy Grant's classic "Lucky Ones," in feel and vibe, which brings to mind that Adie is in a different league now as a pop artist. She just might be shaping up to follow in Grant's grand footsteps.
A cover of Peter Seeger's "Turn Turn Turn" seems to most closely resemble something Adrienne's previous band may have done. A fine rendition of the popular song, "Turn..." is one of the most upbeat tracks on Don't Wait. Most of the pop songs on the album carry a sense of familiarity -- even the catchy title track, which is still easily a highlight on the record, may cause you to wonder if you've heard it somewhere before. The same can be said for some of the more worship-minded songs, yet Adie makes sure to stay far enough away from some of the common cliches of the genre to stand up on her own. The sweet innocence and vulnerability of "What Have I Done" is a testament.
What I missed most on Don't Wait from Adrienne's past recordings, is that her unique vocals are much more reserved here, and at times can seem to be missing the passion and flair her voice became known for. Her vocal style is smoother and more controlled, which actually works better with the musical direction she's striving for with Don't Wait. Still, Adrienne certainly proved she could rock out with the best of them and that will surely be missed.
Don't Wait is a fine effort for Adie's first venture on her own. While the album is more reserved and melodious, risking getting lost amongst the sea of other ambitious pop records, Adie possesses an infectious charm that is inviting. It may not be all the Benjamin Gate fans could hope for in an Adrienne Camp record, but Adie's solo groundwork is laid with Don't Wait, and I definitely can't wait to see where she takes things next.- Review date: 9/22/06, written by John DiBiase
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