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Top 10 Album Of 2009
Posted January 04, 2010
By KevinMcNeese_NRT, Staff Reviewer

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.

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