Few have had the type of career that Paul Colman has. Opening his career solo but gaining his first real success with two bandmates, the Paul Colman Trio received GRAMMY nominations and Dove Awards. After the trio split, Colman released a critically acclaimed solo project and appeared to now have a bright solo career ahead, but plans changed when the solo artist joined one of the biggest Christian bands in history, the Newsboys. With the 'boys, Colman was a co-writer for their hit "Something Beautiful." Now shortly after news of once again going solo, Colman releases his second solo project, History, paying homage to his past as well as a few others.
At first, this one seems to be a clear cut greatest hits or anthology collection. All of Colman's best from his days with the trio and onto his first solo release are here. Songs like "Turn," "Run," and "Fill My Cup" bring back memories of fun concert moments and sound just as good as they did on first listen. Meanwhile, "Gloria (All God's Children)" and "The One Thing" show the progression in Colman's songwriting.
One of the interesting things about this album are the cover songs. No, it's not just the fact that there are cover songs, but rather the diversity in them. Covers of Toby Keith, Delirious?, and Larry Norman are all here. The cover of Keith's "If I was Jesus" is solid (minus the country twang). While at first the song may seem a little trite, it comes around to show some real depth: "If I was Jesus / I'd come back from the dead / and I'd walk on some water just to mess with your head / I'd know your dark little secrets / I'd look you right in the face / and I'd tell you I loved ya with amazing grace." The cover of Delirious?'s "History Maker" is a nice update with some more energy than the original. Norman's "Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation" has been covered more than a few times, but Colman does a good job of capturing the spirit of Norman's original.
History rounds out with one original tune and one live one. The original, "All U Need," is a nice addition, especially considering that it's the first original solo music from the artist since 2005, but it doesn't add an awful lot in comparison to the other wealth of music. On the other hand, the live recording of "The Killing Tree" is excellent. This recording provides a slightly different flavor compared to the original (from the Trio's New Map of the World). This is one that would be sorely missed had it not been included in the collection as it proves to be one of his best.
In terms of greatest hits or "best of" collections, this one gives you almost everything you could hope for. All of the best from his entire career (excluding the Newsboys stint of course) is here. There are some cover songs that are very well done tossed in, as well as one new song. The Paul Colman novice who may have just caught onto him through the Newsboys will be well served to pick up this collection. Fans from the beginning will enjoy the solid compilation of past hits and good covers, but may find themselves wanting something more in terms of new material. Overall, this one is worth your cash.- Review date: 1/26/09, written by Matt Johnson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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