Mark Schultz

Mark Schultz

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This newcomer to CCM offers an exciting dual proposition--power rockers that border on anthemic (the orchestrally enhanced "I Am the Way," "When You Give") balanced by heartwrenching ballads like "He's My Son." In a way, this is the contrast Michael W. Smith has built his career upon, but Schultz has a little more of a rock piano and gospel influence, and actually a more appealing voice. The most interesting production is "When You Give," which finds Schultz (who also plays keyboards) backed by a gospel choir that breaks into the R&B chestnut "Take Me To the River" and gives those lyrics a spiritual meaning. After this, more pedestrian tunes like "Fall in Love Again" are a bit of a letdown, but on their own, each of the songs here holds up and works on both personal and more universal levels. Schultz's songs cover a wide range of topics, from learning to see God from a blind man's perspective to the pain of letting go when a child finally grows up. Schultz delivers all these messages with power and grace and Monroe Jones' production is marvelous. Look for Schultz to become one of the genre's biggest voices in the coming years.

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