Although Jeff Anderson is a new name and voice in CCM, he's not entirely a new face. Fans of rapper John Reuben, particularly those who have seen him live in the past year, just might recognize Anderson as Reuben's onstage guitarist. Anderson's debut Seamless is quite a departure stylistically from John Reuben, dabbling in a euro-pop approach to modern worship. In the same vein musically as Delirious?, Keane, Matthew, and Cold Play, Anderson experiments with new ways to freshen up the worship movement.
Produced by John Reuben, Seamless is an impressive debut for Anderson, and just might launch this artist's desired status as a worship leader. Seamless opens with "Open My Eyes," the album's first single and possibly the most memorable song on the record. A catchy guitar riff opens the worship song and is guided by Anderson's soft vocals into a grand, anthemic chorus. One of the strongest elements of Seamless is that every song on the record is an original, either written or co-written by Anderson. Jeff relies solely on his own work, forsaking the common crutch many worship artists will fall back on by covering a popular tune. And Seamless is sylistically diverse. The pop/rock opener is followed by the folk-influenced "As I Am" and "Paralyzed," and the fragile ballad "I Don't Belong Here." "All We Have Is Now" is a banjo-driven folk pop tune while "These Quiet Streets" is a rock ballad that offers such brutally honest and transparent lyrics as, "Please tell me why, why, why me? I have nothing to give / Oh but I feel useless. Choose somebody else / Please forgive me. I can't do this alone / Please stay. I miss you." "All I Need," cowritten with Reuben, is a simple but strong worship anthem and is followed by the edgiest song on the record, "I Will Follow."
Anderson's vocals vary on the record from timid to confident, which give the album a sort of unbalanced feel. They seem to work the best with a more aggressive approach (like on "I Will Follow"), while slightly struggling through a few of the more delicate and sensitive moments on the record. Still, Anderson's take on modern worship is so sincere and heartfelt that it's hard not to like every track on Seamless. Jeff Anderson's debut is undoubtedly the start of something great and I can't help but anticipate great things from this new artist.- Review date: 3/13/05, written by John DiBiase
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