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!
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