A former Saddleback Church intern, Jadon Lavik has previously released two solid acoustic rock albums. Known for his melodic hooks in contemporary worship, Lavik has been referred to as a star on the rise and one of Christian music's "next big things." Now, Lavik returns to us with a project entirely devoted to classic hymns, entitled Roots Run Deep.
A glance at the track listing will reveal that Lavik sticks to the status quo in his song selection. Classic, but often covered, hymns such as "Amazing Grace," "Turn Your Eyes," and "I Surrender All" are done in a common fair styling. There's very little new here to catch your attention. They are nice covers of some of the great songs of our faith.
"Wondrous Love" does prove to be a bright spot. The song has a good modern pop backing that compels you to stop and listen to a hymn you've probably heard countless times before. The instrumentation gives a contemporary and upbeat feel to this classic. It's a bright spot on a pretty dim collection.
The simple piano cover of "I Need Thee Every Hour" sort of gently carries you along and is enjoyable and pleasant to listen to. "Take My Life" moves along and has a catchy rhythm but at this point on the album, the simple acoustic guitar arrangements are getting old.
These songs have such great lyrics and hold a special place in the hearts of many believers. Obviously the record labels know this based on the slew of hymns projects that have been released in recent years. Jumping on this trend late, it would have been nice to see Lavik select some of the unrecognized hymns by today's industry or at least bring that talent and artistry shown on previous albums to these favorites.
Roots Run Deep is simply "just another hymns project." The propagation and preservation of the timeless songs of our faith is always a good thing, but unless you haven't already picked up two or three of the predecessors or are a serious Jadon Lavik fan, there probably isn't enough here to keep your attention or warrant spending your hard earned money.- Reviewed: 2/25/08, by Matt Johnson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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