Andrew Reese Howells

Next Door to Eden

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

Andrew Reese Howells' first offering is a feast of a different flavor. Seasoned with reverberations of early-'90s rock, it leaves a fairly sweet taste in your mouth. The big difference between "Next Door to Eden" and a fine cuisine is the order; someone decided to serve the steaks first and leave you with the salad. Those steaks are the first two songs, "Next Door to Eden" and "Testify of Love." They are strong, upbeat rockers. Everything else is a little lighter and doesn't stay with you as long. The sound is akin to Steven Curtis Chapman or Michael W. Smith: mostly soft piano ballads contemplating faith, loss, and life. Half the tracks are covers of Christian favorites like "Let Him Heal Your Heart" and "Waiting for Lightning." It's puzzling why "The Rescue" is its own song when it's actually the introduction to the following track. Maybe Howells needed another side item. The CD liner is miniscule and hard to read, with lots of grammatical errors. Overall, the album has a warm feel and the proper direction for mainstream Christian pop. A solid debut CD.

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