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Owens' 'Something More' is redundant

Christian bands such as Starflyer 59, Six Pence None the Richer, S.S. Bounty Hunter, and solo artists such as Michael W. Smith, have helped open the doors of opportunity for Christian artists such as Ginny Owens.

Christian rock is an increasingly popular genre of music, and with more and more bands and artists using their God-given talents to create music of praise and worship, the Christian music industry is growing at a fast pace. Owens has reaped the benefits of this expanding industry with gusto.

According to her biography, Owens was born Virginia Leigh Owens in Jackson, Miss. Born with poor eyesight, she lost her sight completely at the age of two. The loss did not keep her from striving to reach her goals and graduating from Nashville's Belmont University with a degree in music education. Unfortunately, her hopes of becoming a music teacher were dashed when potential employers were more concerned with her blindness than her talents as an educator. Instead, she began to focus on songwriting, and now, at the age of 26, Owens has released her sophomore CD, Something More. As the follow-up to her debut CD Without Condition, released in 1999, Something More is 12 tracks of cheery pop and lightly R&B-inspired songs that focus strictly on Owens' devotion to Christ.

Owens stated in a press release that the songs are about a hope and a love that is bigger and stronger than us. She said that the thread from the first record to this, other than the vocals and the writing style, is that a lot more piano is on it.

"Sonically, Something More is different. It's me three years later. It's not as organic as the first record," Owen said in the release.

Owens' music has a touching, charming and child-like quality to it, and it is overflowing with catchy hooks and optimistic philosophies, but not a tremendous amount of variation. Owens' Christian beliefs take center stage, leaving messages on any other topics by the wayside.

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Owens' music is simple. It is easy-listening, much like the type of music heard on radio stations such as The Peak. But even with songs that have a touch of hip-hop, this CD quickly gets redundant and a little boring. Songs such as "With Me" and "Run To You," are almost indistinguishable from the cutesy music released by Natalie Imbruglia and Lisa Loeb. Smooth bass lines and unambiguous drum loops, mixed with one-octive vocal lines, makes her songs sound more like love songs than religious ones. "I Am," on the other hand, is easily recognized as a "what God wants" type of song.

Even with its drawbacks, it is a good second effort by a woman who has been at the right place, at the right time, with the right sound.

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