The highly anticipated solo projects from the individual members of dc Talk kick off this summer with Michael Tait's band Tait. Their debut record Empty fills shelves July 3rd, and fans of dc Talk shouldn't be disappointed. What we have with Tait is not only arguably the most talented member of dc Talk, but he's accompanied by rock genius Pete Stewart and brothers Chad and Lonnie Chapin (Lonnie spent some time with Petra). The end result is a solid soul-flavored rock album that is different enough from dcT to stand out as not only excellent, but dare someone say... better?
Although most fans would probably disagree, dc Talk's latest recordings have not been able to top some of their earlier hits like that on Jesus Freak or Free at Last. Most recent songs like "Chance" and especially "Sugar Coat It" fall short of the impact and uniqueness they once radiated. With the solo projects on the horizon, it's interesting to see the directions each member is going. And Tait's certainly seems to be the most exciting. Michael's addicting soulful and familiar vocals carry each song in a way only Tait can. Songs like "Alibi," "Loss for Words," "Bonded," and "All You Got" are so well-crafted, you're liable to have trouble keeping the disc out of your player! So now you're probably wondering how it could possibly be that good. Any faults, you ask? Well, now that you mention it...
It's almost a shame the first five tracks are so intriguing, because no other song following seems to grip the listener as the openers did. While "Looking for You" is the only other to come as close, a rock ballad love song, the others either don't let loose as much or the lyrics just don't seem as easy to relate to. But if you're looking for honest, no messing around lyrics, Tait's your man. But please don't get me wrong. The rest of the album is hardly a loss. "Tell Me Why" and "American Tragedy" continue with soulful rock while "Talk About Jesus" is an edgier pop/rock tune. One of the tracks that seems to stand out more and more with each consecutive listen is the soft and heart-felt "Unglued." A song apparently written by Michael for the pain he's felt with the fairly recent death of his father which greatly affected him, "Unglued" is a good album-closer that lets the listener get a little more personal with the dc Talk member.
An exceptional gospel-laced pop/rock album from a brilliant bunch of artists, the debut album Tait is far from empty and is bound to be a major musical highlight for 2001.- Review date: 6/18/01, written by John DiBiase
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