FAIRLY IMPRESIVE ADULT CONTEMPORARY COMEBACK| Posted September 24, 2008
After spending the 1980s and ’90s as one of Christian music’s most prolific and decorated singer/songwriters, a six-year wait between proper albums seems interminable for faithful followers. While it would be easy to argue his best days are in the past (especially after 2002’s highly bland Living Room), the tunesmith behind classics like “Watercolour Ponies,” “Home Free” and “When God’s People Pray” (to name a few) musters up a fairly productive comeback throughout Even This. Whether touching upon the tender acoustic prayer of praise “For All You’ve Done,” turning in the emotive piano ballad “Twenty-Twenty” or the jazz-infused pop of “Newfound” (co-written with Nichole Nordeman), Watson’s voice and pen are both in fine form.
The track list also throws listeners for a marvelous loop via the unexpected cover of alternative country icon Patty Griffin’s “When It Don’t Come Easy.” Even though she’s not a core Christian artist, the lyrics speak of perseverance and can certainly be applied to anyone of faith, which Watson interprets with convincing candor. Yet, even amidst all these standout selections, the disc’s sonic palette seems a little too similar at times, often sounding like a batch of back porch songs rather than mixing up the production with a more fleshed-out feel. But considering just how much he’s improved since the last official trip to the studio, it’s great to have Watson back toward the same track that yielded so many contemporary Christian chestnuts. –Andy Argyrakis
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from Christian Music Planet. Click here to visit ChristianMusicPlanet.com today!