POPULAR HITS SONGBOOK DISAPPOINTS DESPITE PHELPS’ GIFTEDNESS
Posted September 24, 2008
Celine Dion step aside. Josh Groban eat your heart out. David Phelps is the new master of vocal acrobats. Not that he hasn’t already proven his limitless peak. His magnificent range has been spread out over a decade of stellar concert performances and recorded product.
The versatile vocalist first made waves in the southern gospel industry as The Gaither Vocal Band’s showstopper tenor. But after releasing 2000’s Joy, Joy, Phelps turned a loyal handful of followers into a legion of fans, building the foundation for a substantial solo career.
The Voice, Phelps’ newest CD, lists a “Who’s Who” of classic songs. From Foreigner’s “I Want to Know What Love Is” and Sarah McLachlan’s dark “Angel” hymn to Turandot’s famous tenor aria “Nessun Dorma” and the overused “Unchained Melody” David utilizes his impeccable pipes to interpret a wide range of previously recorded tunes.
Covering popular songs is always a risk, and it’s a bold career move for an artist like Phelps who has worked so hard to create his own niche of original inspirational music. While David Phelps’ golden throat can turn almost any melody into a musical masterpiece, The Voice falls short of its recorded potential. Maybe it’s the lack of spiritual themes that resonate so richly in his dramatic voice. Maybe it’s the overreaching, Las Vegas-esque production. (Even with Monroe Jones being at the helm).
Whatever the listener may feel is lacking, for David Phelps, this record is just not the definitive songbook of standards it could have been. –Andrew Greer
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from Christian Music Planet. Click here to visit ChristianMusicPlanet.com today!
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