It's hard to believe that it's been six years since Jennifer Knapp released her debut Kansas on Gotee Records. The album was very well received and led up to the nearly as impressive Lay It Down. Then came The Way I Am, possibly her most critically acclaimed album to date. Now, she brings us a collection of fan favorites, as well as some rarities on a great two-disc set that's sure to please any and all who love Knapp's music.
The first disc of The Collection is made up of her most popular songs from her first three releases as picked by the fans themselves. So really, since it's what the fans wanted, you can't do too much complaining. Her best songs are, indeed, found here. A good assortment from all three of the albums that have gotten Knapp to where she is.
For serious fans of her music (Who most likely own all of the contents of the first disc), the real treat comes in the form of disc two, A Diamond In The Rough, which contains a mixture of some of Knapp's work on other compilations and demos of various released and unreleased songs. The first track is actually a re-recording of The Way I Am's "Say Won't You Say," this time as a duet with Michael Tait. The song was supposed to be the theme for a movie, which ended up not even making it into the production phase. It's a good re-do of what was already an outstanding song. Next up are two songs from City on a Hill 2: Sing Alleluia. The first is the title track "Sing Alleluia," a duet with Mac Powell from Third Day, the other is "Hallowed." Next is a duet with Audio Adrenaline from their Underdog album, "It Is Well with My Soul." The song is as powerful and beautiful as it was back years ago when it was first released. The final of the compilation songs is the more recent "Believe" from Grits, where Knapp sings the chorus. The rest of the songs are demos from the studio of ten different tracks. Seven of them are from her previous three releases, while three are songs never before heard until now. All sound very good in their demo form, albeit rough as one would imagine, but it's interesting to hear the songs in their original forms. The three new- at least to the mainstream public - songs ("Return to Me," "Sing out in Joy," "Nothing Is Impossible") are all very interesting listens, as well as enjoyable ones.
It's been great watching the first six years of Jennifer Knapp's career unfold. Here's to hoping the next six are just as amazing and successful.- Review date: 01/04/04, written by Josh Taylor
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