Geoff Moore is a man who's certainly made his mark on CCM over the years. Starting out solo, then taking on a backup band as Geoff Moore and the Distance for several albums during the early to mid 90s, Moore's popularity was nothing but on the rise. The Distance added something to Moore that when he was solo just wasn't there. But by 1998, The Distance was in the past and Geoff ventured down the solo path again in 1999 with a self-titled record.
A Beautiful Sound is his newest musical venture, following the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule. With his tame pop melodies tinged with a little rock flavoring, Moore utilizes the help of numerous established musicians on each track to create a slightly more interesting album than the last. The impressive list of accompaniment includes Joel Hanson (of PFR), Marc Byrd (Adore and Common Children), Tyler Burkum (of Audio Adrenaline), longtime friend Steven Curtis Chapman, Pete Stewart (formerly of Grammatrain and more recently, Tait), and several others. The end result?
The album opens with the title track, a signature Geoff Moore pop/rock ballad that could easily find companionship on the last two Moore efforts (including his final record with the Distance, Threads). "God Believes in You" is a simple, encouraging tune flavored with a more southern feel, unfortunately not as strong as the album's opener. "Surrounded" is firmer musically, as Byrd, often a musical genius, aids in the composition. Moore's vocals don't change much per album or song. While a little more passion would benefit some songs, Geoff's certainly not an amateur. But he's proven over the years his voice can only do so much. This isn't problematic for his fans, but for someone looking for something a little newer, a little fresher, they will probably not find it here.
"Impossible" adds a little more edge while Moore's vocals might seem a little too apathetic, "Swept Away" serves as a classic ballad, and Byrd helps Geoff add some nice acoustic guitar chords to the delicate "The Artist." "All I Want" is a more upbeat worship song, featuring a more heart-felt vocal delivery, while Stewart livens up the more rock-based "Every Word You Say." "Come As You Are" is a soft and thoughtful ballad as a live version of the 1990 Chapman co-penned "The Keeper" closes the record.
A Beautiful Sound is a good record, but nothing especially groundbreaking or extraordinary. Geoff Moore fans will be pleased with this collection of songs, but you might want to look elsewhere if you want something a little different than Geoff's previous efforts.- Review date: 4/5/02, written by John DiBiase
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