Hailing from Carlsbad, CA, So Cal girl Anadara may just well be another female vocalist to add to the giant whirlpool of voices in today's pop worship radio hits; maybe or maybe not. After attempting the music theater fad that seems rampant among college students today, Anadara found herself focusing more on the music scene, playing at local coffee houses. After graduating from Syracuse University, Anadara later signed with SpringHill Worship (Scott Krippayne, Jeff Deyo, Scott Riggan), and is now releasing her debut album entitled Into the Unknown.
Into the Unknown features ten sundry yet traditional tracks of worship void of clichés; nevertheless, the album is still similar in sound to most of the female vocalists of today. Vocally, Anadara's voice is parallel to that of Nicole Nordeman, with various instances of sounding relatively similar to that of Rebecca St. James as well as BarlowGirl. Beyond that one downfall, the album itself is well produced and instrumentally diverse in sound.
Kicking off the album is "Go," a radio worthy upbeat song that will probably get stuck in your head after a while, bringing thoughts of Rebecca St. James' Transform. "Simple" has a slight country/southern feel to it, while "By Your Love" has a sort of Latin/folk pop sound with Anadara's surprising and talented acoustic picking patterns. "The Name" has that sort of "Friends Forever" Vitamin C sound at the beginning, with the strong profound bass, but proves to be a very fluid and soft piece of worship. I've found that Anadaras' voice seems to fit the more upbeat songs she has written, but is still strong and moving in her slower songs like "Still," the album's end. In some songs like "Go" there is strong voice doubling present that give her and echo effect, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Into the Unknown is a different sort of worship album. At first glance I didn't realize it was a worship album until listening to the lyrics. The songs are well structured and deliver a message of peace and hope. "Song of Surrender" is a slower song with grace filled lyrics, while "Echoes Around the World" is a little more upbeat with extremely catchy lyrics. In this song, Anadara's voice sounds rather similar to that of independent artist Rosemari.
Intertwined in the album are hints of rock, southern acoustic, folk-pop, and acoustic pop, making it a rich album worthy of a listen. With influences ranging from Nicole Nordeman, Michelle Tumes and Sara Groves to James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, it's not surprising to hear such a wide variety of attuned genres. Hopefully she'll ascend above the work of her influences and create a sound more her own, but this record is a great step into the unknown. If you are a fan of top artists such as BarlowGirl, Nicole Nordeman, Rebecca St. James, or Sara Groves, then check out Anadara's debut album on SpringHill Worship.- Review date: 7/22/06, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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