Lack Of Creativity
Posted January 30, 2008
By KevinMcNeese_NRT, Staff Reviewer
Jody McBrayer stepped out from under Avalon's comfortable umbrella of protection to release his first (and to date, last) solo album, This Is Who I Am. Finding inspiration through his father's passing, Jody felt a need to place heart and vision to a topic that was "too personal for Avalon." The result is a 10-track record that encompasses the entire spectrum of the new insight learned in his life's latest lessons while still delivering amped-up praise. Musically, the individual songs incorporate nuances from staple Avalon power-ballads to house-trance to Latin-salsa, the latter influence a nod to Jody's Spanish heritage on his mother's side. What results is an album that sounds vocally stunning (it's Jody McBrayer...) but overproduced at times. Basically, the voice is much too mature for the fading "teen-pop" sound. The major emotion ballads, "To Ever Live Without Me," "I Never Knew" and "Love Can Break Your Fall," will find a perfect fit with Avalon fans and radio alike as will most of the other tracks. Avalon's all about over-production, but it would have been nice to see Jody spread his wings a little bit more than diving into what he calls "urban," also known as drum machines and keyboard wonders. While I myself have enjoyed Avalon's music, the harmonies and vocal presentations from Jody balance the lack of creative instrumentation.
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