Lay it Down, the sophomore effort by Jennifer Knapp, didn't have a fair shot to begin with. Released between Kansas, the critically lauded and 600,000 plus selling debut album of Ms. Knapp and The Way I Am, the third and most sonically-charged Knapp album to date, Lay it Down often gets bumped from thought, if not forgotten altogether. And when discussed, it's frequently dubbed "not as good as Kansas" and "not as exciting as The Way I Am." Regardless of these comments, Lay it Down is an album that showcases the true meaning of Christian rock music and some of Knapp's best songwriting to date.
Beginning with the acoustic vibe of "A Little More," a song about giving your all to Christ, and the Melissa Etheridge-style title track, it's obvious that Knapp tried to create a new, more polished sound than the independent vibe showcased on Kansas. Musically, the album shifts from clean-cut pop ditties ("All Consuming Fire," "Usher Me Down") to hard rockers ("Into You," "You Answer Me") to light-country (a cover of Shawn Colvin's hit "Diamond in the Rough") to worshipful ballads ("When Nothing Satisfies," "Peace"), leaving nearly no music scene untouched. Such a task is not easy for any artist, let alone on an album that is only their sophomore release.
The only complaint I have about the album is it's length: it's only 38 minutes long. You'd think the executives at Gotee could've slipped an eleventh song on the album. But other than that, Lay it Down is an excellent album featuring some of the best songwriting available, Christian or secular.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 4/16/04, written by Ryan B Key for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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