It may be unfair to call Hispanic contemporary Christian music singer Jaci Velasquez CCM's answer to Christina Aguilera, since she got her start well before such secular competitors. But on her fourth album, Velasquez adopts many of the vocal and musical mannerisms of teen pop's Latin side. In the video interviews on the disc's CD-Rom portion, Velasquez notes that she encountered criticism in the Christian community, who charged she was abandoning CCM with her last album, the Spanish-language release Llegar a Ti. She says Crystal Clear's title track makes her religious commitment plain, but like several other songs on the album, the song can be interpreted as a woman's declaration of love to a lover rather than one of faith in God. Though she tosses in the word "Lord" on some songs, Velasquez usually employs the terminology of romantic love rather than religious faith. "There's a union of two becoming one/Deep inside my heart," she sings in "Adore"; such intimacies suggest a highly idealized boyfriend rather than a merciful savior, no matter how many pronouns are capitalized on the lyric sheet. While Velasquez convincingly imitates Britney Spears-style groans, as the album progresses, she and her producers don't maintain the teen pop sound. Eventually, she begins to sound a lot like the artist who is no doubt her real model, the young Amy Grant. It's no surprise after listening to "Come As You Are," a duet with Louis Fansi, to read the credit "vocals produced by Brown Bannister," Grant's early mentor. Four albums on, Jaci Velasquez still seems to be searching for a style of her own.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann