Music Review by Neil Sadler
There is an inspired episode of South Park, where Cartman decides to become a Christian Rock artist. Changing the words of erotic love songs so that they mention God and Jesus, he becomes an instant success.
If Helen J Hicks wishes for the same success, perhaps a plan should be to squarely aim this at the Christian soft rock market, where a mention of God or Jesus in each verse almost guarantees good sales, but otherwise I suspect that Ms Hicks hasn’t done enough to rise above the sea of artists with much stronger debuts.
The problem with this debut album, is that it neither impresses nor annoys. It washes over you, vaguely tuneful, an interesting voice and subtle if slightly cheesy background music. But it is all a bit bland and at times Ms Hicks sounds like an over-enthusiastic RE teacher sitting in front of the class with her piano singing about the love of God.
Another problem is that it doesn’t really have an identity. Not quite Jazz and not quite soft rock – it straddles genres but whereas this works for some artists, this works and creates something original; here the material is too weak. The lyrics are insipid and obvious, the arrangements and tunes are instantly forgettable.
When so many superior debuts are out there and old pro’s like Joni Mitchell (to whom she has surprisingly been compared!!) are still producing thought provoking original material, I can’t recommend wasting your money on a half-hearted album like this.