Dennis Jernigan

I Surrender

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    5
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AllMusic Review by

This kindly singer has been part of the CCM landscape for a decade, and he is certainly passionate about what he is singing about -- but he comes across here like a corny lounge singer (only with a larger, more energetic live audience.) Some of this recording was done in a concert setting, but his spoken sermon blurbs and hand laying before a handful of songs is a bit distracting. Part of his problem -- aside from limited vocal range -- is the songs say something substantial lyrically and have strong and brassy productions, but have limited musical substance. Jesus said it's important to come to Him as a child, but Dennis Jernigan takes this literally, writing songs that would be more appropriate for a children's choir. "There Is Power," "I'm Gonna Call Upon Jesus," and "Oh I Love Him" are great messages, as well as sing-songy numbers. One strong redeeming element is a duet on "Glory to the King" with Marabeth Jordan; her soulful voice gives Jernigan more incentive to add some soul to his own voice. Christian pop music is hard to criticize because the message is so important; but mediocre singing and very average songwriting (for the most part) are not exactly the best ways to make the Gospels heard. His faithful audience will no doubt still enjoy it, but newcomers to the CCM experience should check out Steven Curtis Chapman and Bryan Duncan instead.

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