Big Daddy Weave made a grand entrance in 2002 with their debut One And Only on Fervent Records. One And Only was produced by FFH frontman Jeromy Deibler and it wasn't long before BDW started being called the Christian Dave Matthews Band. While it's not hard to surpass Matthews in vocal talent or song craftsmanship, BDW's more pop/folk approach made them more accessible for the adult contemporary audience. In 2003, the quintet is back with another set of songs, ready to take listeners by surprise.
Big Daddy Weave's sophomore project Fields Of Grace is a crisp and clean production, this time pieced together carefully by band members Mike Weaver and Jeremy Redmon. "Set Me Free" is a rousing opener, capturing a sonic freshness and power to set up the next eleven tracks. The production is clean, but perhaps polished a little too smoothly as it cleanses the music from a more raw sound that would moreso benefit a sound like Big Daddy's. Weaver's vocals seem a little too forced at first but feel more natural and heartfelt as the record progresses with "New Every Morning" as a prime example. Lyrically, the record is honest and passionate. "New Every Morning" meditates on Jesus's fresh daily Grace while the fun and catchy title track offers a childlike excitement to spending intimate time with our Father.
While "Everything You Are" is upbeat and energetic, tracks like "Heart Cries Holy" and "Be Your Everything" are thoughtful ballads -- slightly reminiscent of the great Bebo Norman -- that prove the band's strongest work is in the slower, more melodic moments.
Fields Of Grace is a very good sophomore effort but tends to feel a little hindered by slight overproduction and Weaver's sometimes seemingly forced vocal melodies. Weaver shines the brightest when he just lets his voice carry the songs. When he tries harder than he really needs to, it can sound so. Either way, Weaver is Big Daddy Weave and its marriage with the band's signature jazz folk pop sound is an inspired one. Fans of One And Only will be pleased with Fields Of Grace, and contemporary fans needing something a little different for their listening pleasure might find delight in the five guys with an infectious passion for our Creator known as Big Daddy Weave.- Review date: 9/29/03, written by John DiBiase
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