Billy Gilman

Everything and More

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Five years after his debut, One Voice, Billy Gilman returned with his third, Everything and More. If only things were quite that simple. Gilman released his first album when he was 12 and it was a hit primarily because there was an audience eager to hear a child sing earnestly about wishing for love and peace in this world, and that was enough to make him a novelty hit for a few years. Considering the cultural climate of the W years, when family values and safe, slick entertainment were at a premium, it would have seemed like Gilman could have stayed near the top of the charts for the rest of the decade. But that's not taking the tiny matter of puberty into account. Not long after he had his second album, the voice changed and his label bailed, leaving him to struggle for a couple of years before he re-emerged on a new label, Imagine, with Everything and More, a collection of positive, polished adult contemporary pop with a Christian bent. Frankly, it's easy to see why his old label abandoned him: while he's not a bad singer, he's an awkward adolescent possessed with considerably less charm than he did when he was a kid. Other than that, not much has changed in Gilman's world -- he still favors supersweet, sentimental songs about love, faith, and positivity, all delivered in a blandly melodic, inoffensive fashion. It's enough to please the fans who waited a long time for a new Gilman record, but as he reaches adulthood, Billy is no longer a novelty and is no longer quite as interesting on record. As a result, Everything and More winds up as something pleasant, good-natured, and entirely forgettable.

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