Bebo Norman was an independent artist before that tag was even cool - playing coffeehouse shows, selling CDs out of the trunk and then online. Over the course of Bebo's career so far he has sold over 500,000 albums and continues to be a strong CCM name at radio and on the touring front. Bebo is now scheduled to release his new album still rooted in the tuneful sensibilities of artists like James Taylor and John Mayer, he is confidently stretching the musical arrangements to his often worshipful melodies. "Stylistically it's a bit more modern, keeping melodies real simple and focusing on instrumentation…experimenting with different sounds." As far as theme Bebo comments "There are several people around me in dark throes and desperately clinging to Christ in the midst of it…And they all love the Lord. It's a reminder that real life happens to believers and unbelievers alike. Rain falls on the just and the unjust." An amazing career so far, Bebo delivers his 7th studio release with singles "Pull Me Out," "Britney," and his latest #1 single "The Only Hope".
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Top 10 Release Of 2008| Posted December 16, 2008
It has been a privilege listening Bebo Norman?s music evolve over the years. I?ve certainly been a fan since his debut, enjoying most of what he?s put out there, but his self titled album released this year, and his first of BEC Recordings, has impressed me more than any other album he?s released.
The first track and single from the album, ?Pull Me Out,? takes the stripped down Bebo formula and turns it on its head, resulting in Bebo?s biggest track, sonically, to date. Taking depression, a topic that he?s written about multiple times, and struggled with personally for years, Bebo sets a hopeful and even joyful tone to the album with a visual of God reaching to the lowest of low to rescue one of his children. Another standout track is ?Britney,? a great example of the depth of story-telling that Bebo squeezes into the majority of his three and a half minute songs.
Beyond a great collection of music, Bebo Norman presents an artist that is truly at the top of his form, both vocally and collaboratively. His openness to work with other songwriters for the first time has certainly paid off and as Bebo begins to confront some of his inner demons beyond his songwriting, we?re seeing an artist who is more vulnerable and honest with the greatness of God than ever before. Given that Bebo has brought us incredible songs like ?Light of the World,? and ?I Will Life My Eyes,? that?s saying a lot.
Brilliant Album, Top 10 of 2008!| Posted October 10, 2008
I've been a huge fan of Bebo Norman for the past decade as he has consistently released songs that have touched me such as The Hammer Holds, Tip Of My Heart, Nothing Without You and I Will Lift My Eyes. He is a truth telling folk music style singer-songwriter like Rich Mullins, Derek Webb and Todd Agnew, all favorites of mine. Having recently changed labels to BEC Records, this is his first recording as a new father of his 1 year old son Smith and and it has quickly become my favorite album by Bebo Norman and it is one of my top albums of 2008!
Bebo Norman is richly loaded with personal themes of coming out of depression, prayerful reflection and hope-filled expressions of joy in Christ. This album stands out like Deep Enough To Dream by Chris Rice in that you can't help but root for this album and artist because you can immediately identify with the personal nature of the songs. The first track is a great example. Pull Me Out is a song about Bebo's battle with depression and calling out for God's grace. Hear It From Me is another standout song in that we can all relate to Bebo's prayer. Every song is truly brilliant and personal and the song I can't stop listening to is the first single Britney, written as an apology to Britney Spears for how our culture tells lies about what's beautiful and what will give life. Bebo says: "it is also an invitation to the truth about a God who is bigger than the pain this world leaves us in." It is one of the most amazing songs I've ever heard and as a father of 3 daughters, it wrecks me everytime.
Pick up Bebo Norman and you won't regret it. For me this is a 5 star album.
No "pull out" is needed| Posted December 03, 2008
Bebo Norman’s first release as a BEC recording artists comes in the form of his eight studio project simply called Bebo Norman. Trying to stretch his musical abilities past what he was able to do previously at Essential Records, was the key to the label change which left Norman to give fans a more intricate style of music than his hit song “I will lift my eyes”.
There are actually only two real praise and worship songs on the album: the soft and simple finely, “can’t live without you” and the relatively weak “the only hope”. Aside from that the album is upbeat starting with the top ten single “pull me out” which is not really catchy but has a more upbeat pop sound that fans might be used to. The extremely hyped “Britney” starts out simply with a guitar, sounding like Chris Rice, but turns into more aggressive pop tune. “Million rain drops” is a rather artistic song, which thrives because of an emotional bridge but the really impressive bridge shows up on “ruins” where Norman’s vocals bring on inspiration and plenty of emotion.
For not being known for strong music Bobo Norman’s melodies are not bad. Of course there are some weaker songs. For example “never saw you coming” is pretty good except that it seemingly borrows from “pull me out” and “hear it from me” has a rough transition from the light verse to the more up tempo chorus. “Not living in between” is coarse in places but is a decent song while “never saw you coming” is impressive especially in the arena of the emotional refrain.
Not too much on Bebo Norman’s self titled album is too similar to “Great Light Of The World”, “Holy Is Your Name” or “I will lift my eyes” as the approach of the album isn’t praising God but a collection of songs about our desperate clinging to God in faith or being held on to. From the yearning for salvation and redemption (“Pull me out”) to our nature to do the things that would distance of from God (our only hope) to the journey of a man back to God (“ruins”); the theme of needing a savoir is very evident.
The song “Britney” is an apology to Britney Spears for the way the media and people have gone along with it. The song goes into the destruction of a young women’s life, the caution to a younger generation and hope for the future ‘I know love goes around the world we know /and you never see it coming back /but I can see it coming back for you’. Despite all of the good things that could be said about the album rough patches are “never saw you coming” which sounds hollow comparatively and “one bright hour “which assumes the Lord’s return will take place in an hour.
Bebo Norman described his music on his self titled record ‘dramatic’ and surprisingly so it’s not so far off the mark. Some of his song has a good deal of emotion as well as being artistic, lyrically and musically. It’s nice to know that artists like Norman haven’t shown fans all of the tricks in his bag, so kudos to him and here’s to many more solid releases at BEC.
SELF-TITLED GEM PERSONALIZES NEW CHAPTER FOR NORMAN| Posted September 24, 2008
Bebo Norman has spent a dozen or so years as one of Christian music’s most eloquent artists, publishing transparency as if it is normal to bare one’s soul to thousands of listeners in each and every song. But when Bebo first traversed the country as a 20-something in the mid-’90s his acoustic storytelling was something different—a fresh alternative to Christian music’s brand of programmed pop.
Conquering college stages with his laidback humor and honest music, Norman garnered a slew of young, loyal fans, selling thousands of homemade CDs in the process. Now, six albums and more than a decade later, Norman issues his self-titled recording on new label home BEC, inviting listeners to the next chapter of verse and lyric.
The first single, “Pull Me Out,” introduces the record with a pounding acoustic guitar and begging first stanza: “Tell me now/When does this start feeling like I understand/Everything I’m dealing with . . . This could be all about just letting go/Or this could be all about just holding on.”
Using one of the most universally recognized first names in pop culture today, “Britney” continues the candor, making an apology for the lies we’ve fed young women and our irresponsibility in helping them through the struggles they face as a result.
Alluding to the anxiety that has plagued Bebo backstage for years, “Ruins” is the most poignant and personal cut on the disc. Vulnerable lyrics demonstrate Bebo at his best: “Laying flat upon my back/All the world in motion/Everything goes by so fast/I feel like I’m frozen . . . This is my holy hour, this is my world on fire/This is my desperate play, this is where I am saved.”
What’s so interesting about Norman’s music is his aptitude for good pop while never forfeiting the integrity of each and every line. And on Bebo Norman the singer/songwriter takes the next step in a career that is sure to be celebrated for many years. –Andrew Greer
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from Christian Music Planet. Click here to visit ChristianMusicPlanet.com today!
Bebo Norman| Posted April 08, 2009
I have all of his CD's except for the very 1st one. I am unable to find that CD anywhere. His latest one, "Bebo Norman" is my favorite thus far. If a CD can wear out I am going to be doing that. I play it over and over and every now and then I will put in one of his other CD's to mix it up for me. I need to put all of his songs on an ipod or mp3 player, which I do not have, yet. I will figure it out so I can always have the songs with me and listen to all of his songs instead of just what is on a particular CD.
His voice is what attracted me to him in the beginning. Then I listened to his words and to boot I learn he writes his music. I've just fallen in love with his talent and his voice and I am a friend of his MySpace page and his Twitter page. I think his little boy Smith is his spitting image. I can't believe he's 1 already. He has a lovely wife and he is blessed with a wonderful career and family. I feel blessed to have found him.
Now if anyone knows where I can get his first CD I will have his complete collection. He is the only artist that I have every single CD. I just can't get enough of his music.
One of the Best!| Posted January 06, 2009
After listening to this album i would have to say in my opinion that i think this is the best album by Bebo Norman. I got this album for Christmas and i havent stop listening to it since. Each song is well crafted and they all speak to me in different ways.
I love how the album opens with "Pull Me Out". A great upbeat and catchy song with lyrics that we can all live by. Sometimes we just need to ask God to pull us out of certain situations.
Then comes "Hear It From Me", a beautiful song of worship. God has heard it all before, all types of worship, but that doesn't matter because we are His and no matter what we do or what we say in our worship he just wants to hear us worship Him.
After that comes "Living In The In Between" a very folk like but catchy tune. I like folk but i'm not a huge fan of it and yet i find myself hearing this one over and over.
Then comes another one of my favorites on this album "Britney". A nice song with wonderful lyrics that he wrote for Britney Spears and its a song that can be translated in many ways. It's also a catchy tune as well.
I can just go on and on about this album but that will take up too much time and room. The rest of the album is great as well. Another favorite song of mine is "A Million Raindrops". Very nice song! Bebo went all out on this album and I think he did an awesome job. I agree with all who said that this was one of the best albums of 2008 becuase I think it really was. Great job Bebo!!!!
Another Great Album| Posted September 11, 2008
He has done it again, Bebo has released yet another great album. I have been following Bebo since the beginning and every album that he puts out is great.
Another solid album| Posted September 10, 2008
Looks like Bebo has put out another solid album. I've been listening to him since I first saw him in concert back in '96 and tend to prefer his early stuff. His sound is very different from his first few albums but his songwriting ability has remained consistently solid. He is definitely one of my favorite songwriters for his ability to write about the intersection of real life and faith. Britney is a well written song about our obsession with idols and the constant propping up and tearing down of them. Definitely worth a listen.
Bebo Norman by Bebo Norman| Posted September 10, 2008
As in his other albums, Bebo has again plumbed the depths and heights of our relationship with God and with others. With a variety of rhythms and melodies, he hits the target of message with many of the songs. His clear and strong vocal tone make it easy for the listener to be drawn in to worship with each crescendo and descrescendo. It's good to see Bebo still back to the focus on the Lord and not just emotional songs with emotional lyrics, as in "Blue Skies". If you are looking for a great combination of acoustic sound, as well as electric, folk and mellow rock, you will enjoy Bebo Norman's "Bebo Norman"...he will again lead you into a wonderful experience of worshipping our amazing God!
Again?| Posted September 09, 2008
Can I listen to this again?
It is obvious to this listener that there is a lot of emotion in the songs in this Bebo Norman release. There is a good amount of emotional, hard-driving music or soft and worshipful, straight from the heart. Pull me out of this, Lord! Whoa...I get chills. Some of this is my prayer and my testimony. I must have this CD so I can loop the whole thing and worship along with Bebo Norman.
Devotional| Posted September 09, 2008
I have always enjoyed the beautiful lyrics and sound of Bebo Norman, and this album is not a disappointment. Beautiful; mature worship. I found myself with eyes closed hands lifted. Each song such a testimony to the precious awesome God we serve. Thank you, Bebo!