Over the past few years, several young, gifted female performers have left their mark in Christian music. Almost none, however, have been able to rock as hard as new Essential Records artist Krystal Meyers. Bearing the tag of "the Christian Avril Lavigne," Meyers' sound is remarkably similar to Lavigne right down to the angst and vocal aggression. This should be no surprise considering The Wizardz of Oz, the team who brought you the work of Lavigne, alongside artist/producer Ian Eskelin carry the production duties of Meyers' rocking debut.
From the moment Krystal Meyers' self-titled debut kicks off with "The Way to Begin," it's obvious she has no interest in releasing a shallow, overly programmed pop record. Rather, Meyers combines her guitar playing skills and meaningful lyrics to truly connect with listeners. Serving as the first single, the opening cut began making waves a few months ago when released to radio. Meyers follows that closely behind with the cool rock flavor of "My Savior," which most will find just as enjoyable as "The Way to Begin."
Throughout the record it's quite obvious this sixteen-year-old rocker has no intentions of conforming to fit in. This is particularly evident on "Anticonformity," an anthem of refusing to bow down to peer pressure and "stupid trends" but rather "going against the grain." "Fall to Pieces" is also a standout track with Meyers' voice at perhaps its most aggressive. While the record as a whole is very much angst-driven, she calms things down with "Reflections of You" and "Lovely Traces" which boast themselves as slow-tempo rock ballads. These songs aren't as exciting as some of Meyers' other work but are worth a listen. Eventually she concludes with "Can't Stay," a strong, guitar-heavy number that makes for a truly great closing track.
While Krystal Meyers' first offering is pretty impressive, it still holds a few seemingly minor weaknesses - primarily in some of the song's lyrics. The verses of "Fire" rhyme almost too well with "You make life from dark/ illuminate my heart/ it started with a spark" and "Let your fire on feed/ on all my disbelief/ cause You are all I need." Simplistic, even familiar, lyrics surface occasionally throughout the course of this ten-song record. As a result of this, listeners in search of something completely original may find themselves skipping this record altogether, despite its many highs.
Despite a few weaknesses, Krystal Meyers' self-titled effort is a great debut from this exciting up-and-coming teen rocker. While fans of Avril Lavigne's tunes may be particularly favorable towards Meyers (especially since she is a great alternative), fans of honest, driving Christian pop/rock should pick up this disc.- Review date: 6/3/05, written by Lauren Summerford
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