Canadian pop vocal trio Carried Away is back with their sophomore release entitled I Want You. The group was greeted with much acceptance in 2005 thanks to their debut project Closer To You, earning them critical acclaim and a wide fan base. The girls even earned two Covenant Awards in 2005 (Canadian Gospel Music Association), were named the top selling Canadian debut artist that same year, and garnered a good deal of airtime on the Christian radio waves, positioning them for great future success.
Unfortunately, after one listen through I Want You it seems that Carried Away has created a pop/adult contemporary project that won't be so memorable. Most of the songs lack creativity and originality. Opening track "Black and White" has the potential to be something great with vocals reminiscent of Hillary Duff, but never fully takes advantage of all that it could be. "Just Believe" is more guitar-driven than "Black and White," making it slightly more enjoyable than the previous song but still is nothing too exciting. To change things up a bit, "Alive" features a choir at the end of the song and attempts to achieve a full-blown majestic feel but never quite reaches such heights. "Over Me" and "Sweet One" are both softer, quieter ballads that are far more musically satisfying than the other songs even though they feature simpler arrangements.
It is clear that this trio is very passionate about their faith and sincere love for Christ. Despite that, the lyrics on I Want You are honest yet so frequently trite and almost painfully simplistic and unimaginative. For example, the chorus of the title track continuously repeats "I Want You/ I Want You…" to the point where it keeps building up but has no where left to go. "Just Believe" is clearly written with intentions of encouraging others, still it lacks that special spark to reach full potential ("Don't give up/ Cause anything can happen/Just believe… cause anything can happen"). This of course could change over time with more experience and creative exploration.
The most redeeming thing about I Want You is the undeniably excellent vocal harmonies of sisters Colleen and Pam Walker and their cousin Christine Prankard. Clearly this is the group's strongest asset. Still, at times, it is difficult to decipher exactly what is being sung because of the heavy layers of vocals. Nonetheless, this disc was obviously created to showcase their impressive singing abilities.
I Want You cannot be described as a bad album or poorly produced; rather its lackluster sound is what leaves plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully the girls of Carried Away will be able to find their niche and stick to it to come back and impress fans and critics alike.- Review date: 8/26/07, written by Lauren Summerford
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