STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 118124-18735 LABEL: Word 074948830401 FORMAT: CD Album RELEASE DATE: 2011-10-17 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Simon Eden
Crystal has reached the peak of Christian music over the last 20 years with Dove Awards and Grammy nominations, with her track "People Get Ready" and her work with Kirk Franklin being particular standouts. Sadly this latest album is well below par. What surprised me initially is that her distinctive powerful voice has noticeably changed character and is now far harsher. With the exception of 'More Greatest Hits' in 2003, and her 2010 Christmas album, this is only her second worship album in almost a decade and is not a touch on earlier work. Her son Solomon features prominently on the credits, being the producer, arranger, programmer and playing keys and guitar. Solomon, Crystal's husband Brian Ray and daughter Izzi Ray also all get songwriting credits. Solomon has done a reasonable job in creating a professionally sounding album but like her 2005 album 'See' there is nothing that stands out as a song you would want to put on repeat or add to a radio playlist. These are Christocentric inspirational tracks such as "Revelation" quoting Rev 5.12 "Worthy is the Lamb" or track four "Even The Rocks Cry Out" paraphrasing Luke 19.40 so there is great inspiration lyrically. But you will struggle if you try to sing along.
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Plain and Simple is the new release from veteran Christian music artist Crystal Lewis. The Dove-award winning, Grammy-nominated Lewis presents a fresh take on her seasoned style, delivering a collection of 11 brand new songs that uniquely blend passionate worship, refreshing melody lines and the powerhouse vocals she’s become known for.
Truly a family affair, this project features her son Solomon, daughter Isabella and husband Brian in roles ranging from producing, arranging and programming to writing, playing and singing.