This aptly descriptive and intelligent pop effort reveals lyrics, melodies and instrumentation that go far deeper than the stereotypical pop hit. With all songs written or co-written by Jonny, “More Beautiful You” captivatingly illuminates Jonny’s heart – a heart that is passionate about reaching his generation with the message of God’s love, forgiveness, and grace.
Bart Millard (lead singer of Mercy Me) says...
“The bottom line is Jonny Diaz is the real deal. To stand in front of 7000 people with just your guitar and your voice, and keep the crowd captivated is a gift. Jonny has that gift and then some."
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Top 10 Album Of 2009| Posted January 04, 2010
Last year's most overlooked album is this fantastic release from Jonny Diaz, a seasoned independent artist whose INO Records' debut, More Beautiful You, is a perfect example of beauty in simplicity. Shunning the overproduction and spectacle that saturates so many releases in today's market, More Beautiful You relies heavily on acoustic guitars, simplified beats and Jonny's accessible vocals. The result is an album that stands out as true work from a gifted singer/songwriter, versus a gifted producer with all the right software. This is the same magic that initially drew me to artists like Shawn McDonald, Bebo Norman and female artists Sara Groves and Bethany Dillon.
There's a calm honesty in Jonny's music. From the island themed, "Love Like You Loved," to the laid back style of "Nashville," to more radio friendly cuts like "More Beautiful You" and "Stand For You," Jonny writes with a self-perspective that many artists simply don't. He sings about loyalty to Christ, missing friendships and inner beauty aimed at teenage girls, a topic that not many male artists talk about. This album feels like a breath of fresh air every time I put it on. It's far from groundbreaking and I can understand an initial reaction to brush it aside and move on, but there's a quiet soul waiting to be discovered here. Don't miss it.
PROMISING ARTIST DALLIES WITH FORGETTABLE FARE| Posted August 18, 2009
It’s hard to break into the pop world these days. With an abundance of music hopefuls and fewer labels, plus a struggling economy, the artists who get signed have to be good. Really good. Jonny Diaz, though not particularly groundbreaking, vocally proves he is worthy to join the ranks of artists who have made it through the gauntlet.
On his debut More Beautiful You, the fresh-faced singer churns out a stalwart set of tracks, starting with the single “More Beautiful You,” which promotes a not-so-original message about true beauty but nonetheless has a delightful hook. “Love Like You Loved” has a blissful Jason Mraz feel, though a damaging attempt at an “island” theme falls short of Mraz’s prowess. “Stand For You” is much more successful. Though lyrically uninspiring, musically Diaz excels via bounding guitar lines and rhythmic vocals, enough to launch his voice to gigantic proportions.
“See the Wind” is the best track on the album, a splendid moment where Diaz sounds fully comfortable with the range and speed of the track and demonstrates brilliant vocals. Songwriting also hits an album high here, with lines like, “And when I hear the thunder/I know that You draw near and then I watch in wonder as the evidence appears/Leaves grow mighty at your bidding, trees bow to branches low... I cannot really hold You, but I feel You in my life.”
Diaz will no doubt draw comparisons to artists like Mraz, Dave Barnes and Bebo Norman, which is a shame, because it would have been nice to see him fulfill all the potential of his vocals. He falls woefully short on tracks like “Nashville” and “Waiting Room,” where boring arrangements and lackluster lyrics earmark him as forgettable. Mercifully, he steadies his footing with “Prodigal Like Me,” and thanks to its commercial appeal (think Chris Sligh, Mark Harris), this tune will find an ideal home on AC radio. —Grace S. Cartwright
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CCMMagazine.com. Click here to visit CCMMagazine.com today!
Johnny Diaz’s “More Beautiful You" Review| Posted June 24, 2009
By Lydia Akinola
If I were the gambling type, I’d put my money on Jonny Diaz at least getting a nod for next year’s ‘Artist of the Year’. And if my blood sugar levels were compliant, I might also say he’s the sure winner. But let me not jinx anything.
Artistically similar to Brandon Heath, Jason Mraz and Bebo Norman, Diaz decided to follow God’s voice and pursue a career in music rather than a life in professional baseball. As always, God knows what He’s doing. With his easy pop style, Diaz is set to be a household name. Armed with a guitar and a clear message, his music is easily identifiable as that “safe” genre ‘acoustic pop’. But, at least, it is stellar acoustic pop, this time.
The opening and title track “More Beautiful You” is a message to young girls, reminding them that ‘You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do, So there could never be a more beautiful you’. It is not a new idea, but it is a truth that needs to be heard, and Jonny Diaz offers a fresh take that is both touching and catchy. So turn around you’re not too far, To back away be who you are, To change your path go another way’. Young women everywhere, listen and be encouraged. Whilst society may make us feel otherwise, “More Beautiful You” serves as a clear reminder that God ‘will take your dark distorted view, And with His light He will show you truth.’
“Soon Will Fade,” upbeat and peppy, is anti-materialism and recognizes that everything in this world is temporal. “Love Like You Loved” with its slight reggae touch, reminds us to follow Christ’s example, loving and serving others. Also the noteworthy “Waiting Room” declares that ‘When that miracle comes cause Your answer is yes, I will praise you for all of my days, But when Your wisdom declares that a no is best, I will praise You just the same.’ Jonny Diaz delivers his own offering on some trials of faith and manages to avoid major pitfalls that are found in sugar-coated pop served without substance. This is likely to endear him to a mass market of Christian families, eager to find easy listening, but wanting something with at least a semblance of meaning. Diaz gets tops marks for both.
The bonus track “The Opening Act” gives us a glimpse of a relaxed Diaz, doing what he does best, on his guitar. It is funny, a little cheeky and rather pointless, but it does serve to show Jonny’s individual talent and quirky style. It would be good to see more of this originality, as whilst More Beautiful You is solid, it does like individuality, and struggles to be distinctive at times. Although there are almost no flaws in the whole album, I would love to see a little more creativity and flair. “The Opening Act” reveals what Jonny Diaz is capable of.
Jonny Diaz has a talent for songwriting, and he tackles relevant and prominent issues in an even-handed way, whilst successfully keeping everything in 4 minutes or under. Radio friendly tracks are not exactly to everybody’s liking, but these, I feel, are accessible to all. If you like this album, you’ll love it; however if ‘acoustic pop’ is not your thing, stay well away. More Beautiful You may not be the most ground-breaking of albums, but it is infectious, honest and extremely well done. As for myself, I can’t wait to see what Jonny Diaz offers next.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
More Beautiful You| Posted June 09, 2009
Recent signee to INO Records, Jonny Diaz releases his latest project More Beautiful You, an album of acoustic pop in the vein of Shawn McDonald, Shane & Shane, and Warren Barfield. “Instead of focusing solely on the idea of God’s grace, More Beautiful You moves through many different aspects of the Christian faith,” says the singer/songwriter. “One theme that is prevalent throughout the record is truth. We are called to speak and live truth even in a culture that doesn’t agree.”
Our society often sends the message to young girls that they have to look a certain way
and dress a certain way in order to be beautiful. On the title-track, “More Beautiful You,”
Jonny exposes these lies in a similar manner as Jon McLaughlin’s “Beautiful Disaster”
and Chasen’s “Crazy Beautiful,” however; Jonny offers more spiritual substance than his
peers. “He will take your dark distorted view/and with His light He will show you the
With an acoustic/hip-hop vibe reminiscent of Brandon Heath’s rhythmic style, “Stand for
You” calls on Christians to take a stand for their faith. “In a world that tries to water
You down/Where beliefs cannot be spoken too loud/I’ll stand for the truth.”
The reggae-influenced “Love Like You Loved” is simply about loving others like Jesus
loves us. “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12).
Jonny’s past efforts have often been likened to that of Bebo Norman. This comparison
doesn’t become fully apparent on the album until the last few tracks. “Waiting Room,”
“Prodigal Like Me,” and “See the Wind” all incorporate pop choruses sonically similar to
Bebo Norman’s music.
The closing track, “The Opening Act,” is a rather humorous, tongue-in-cheek tune giving
listeners a glimpse of what it’s like to be a relatively unknown concert opener. “Cause I’
m the opening act/Don’t get much time/Maybe four tracks or five at best… And if you
buy a CD well you’re enabling me to put bread on my plate/Take my wife on a date/Well
I better start now before you tune me out/But don’t forget about my myspace.”
Jonny Diaz has already experienced success, particularly on the radio, with his previous
independent endeavors. Now, with the backing of a major label, the singer/songwriter
will be able to reach out to more people with his music and the message of truth.
Christian music fans seem to be enjoying Jonny’s latest single “More Beautiful You;” the
song is steadily climbing up R&R’s Christian AC charts. I imagine that Jonny’s early
radio success is indicative of how his album will be received.
Awesome album-Awesome artist!| Posted March 19, 2011
So, A few months ago I saw Jonny for the first time in concert. I had heard his song "More Beautiful You" on the radio, (Which I totally love) but I hadn't really heard anything else from him. But when I heard him at the concert, I was totally blown away. The amount of raw talent he has is just increcible. So soon after the concert, I bought this album, of which I totally love. So, I highly recommend this album. It's great!
It's OK| Posted October 09, 2009
I enjoyed listening to the CD, but I thought the songs all sounded somewhat the same, except "More Beautiful You" which was a great song and full of encouragement. I was just a little disapointed that the songs all sounded the same....a little boring.