Gotee Records has advertised The Katinas' fourth release Roots quite presumptuously, saying it's going to do for the band what Jesus Freak did for dcTalk. Well, I highly doubt that. But this will open up many doors for the band. I can even see this reaching the secular industry, if marketed right.
For starters, this record is much more pop-flavored than anything they've done before. The usual R&B and AC elements are there. So, what you have is a mix of *NSync and Usher for the most part. But before you run in the opposite direction, this is a very well-done version of this mix of genres; and it would be foolhardy to pass it up. Even I, who doesn't care at all for any of this normally, can't resist.
And the guest vocals don't hurt this disc either. Tommy Simms, John Reuben, and Amy Grant lend their vocal talents on various parts of this remarkable record. John Reu adds his signature raps to a verse of "Freedom" while Amy grants her beautiful vocals to an already wonderful "Still in Love."
Lyrically, the Katinas don't stray far from their Christian roots. God, the love for the Son, and the joy that comes through being a Christian are the topics discussed very blatantly on Roots.
The Katinas are a much more accessible band than they used to be. This will create quite a buzz in the Christian music industry. Anyone who used to pass up on the Katinas would do good to give them another look, as I did. This definitely won't be the dcTalk moment being advertised, but that doesn't make any less amazing.
And if you pick up Roots any time soon, be sure to grab a copy that comes with a free 4-song Christmas EP from the band.- Review date: 10/9/03, written by Josh Taylor
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