Shawn McDonald, one of the newer artists in the Christian music industry, wasn't always a laid-back Seattle-based singer-song writer. The Sparrow Recording artist is a living testimony of God's grace and wonder. Six years ago, as a lost kid on the streets of Eugene, Oregon, Shawn fell into a depth of sin involving nine felony charges for possessing, growing, manufacturing and dealing marijuana, LSD, and other controlled substances. After his second drug bust, McDonald made a total 180 turn in his life when falling to his knees and accepting Christ. Now, with his truthful pretensions, McDonald shares his testimony through his sophisticated, sensible, and yet simple album, Simply Nothing.
Simply Nothing, produced by Chris Stevens (TobyMac, Paul Wright, Cadet), is McDonald's first piece of art, which has the creativity yet simplicity of an album written by an artist who has been in the business for awhile. McDonald's unique acoustic-soul sound blends with hints of hip-hop, organic instrumentation, rich vocals and emotion filled lyrics to produce an amazing new album.
Starting off the album is "Take My Hands", an upbeat genre-bending song which begins the thinking process for the album. With themes ranging from a need for God to the desire for the hard truth over a lie, this album is full of eloquence and emotion. The string-like acoustic and folk blend in "Gravity" follows. As the project's first single, the song shows Shawn's yearning to have a deeper relationship with God. Later in the album is Shawn's expression of worship with "Here I Am". Drawing comparisons from a variety of artists and styles of music, you may find an appreciation for Shawn McDonald's music. With a few repetitive yet deeply intriguing lyrics throughout the songs on the record, we can see that McDonald is still a rising artist but that his progress will be interesting to watch in the near future.- Review date: 7/26/04, written by Jessica Vander Loop
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