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Hoping to keep a good thing going, industry newcomer Beach Street Records--home to smash-hit success Casting Crowns--has trotted out singer-songwriter Josh Bates and his Perfect Day debut release to the gate. Whether or not this twentysomething Kentuckian is a real thoroughbred remains to be seen. While his initial offering may not break any track records, it's credible enough to make Bates someone to watch. Vocally similar to Clay Crosse and Michael Passons (former Avalon member), Bates has a sweet and smooth style always kept in front of mix thanks to producers Mark Miller (Sawyer Brown front man) and Dale Oliver (who doubles with laying down much of the guitar and piano tracks). The title track and "You Say Come" are good examples of this as Bates's God-centric lyrical focus remains paramount over any guitar power chord. "Shine" and "Alive" are similar in style and feature very rich and dense vocals on the songs' choruses. Along with a good voice, Bates also can play guitar, mandolin, and piano, yet strangely his instrument work is limited here. His mandolin on "Less" nicely augments the strings on this ballad. The worship-tinged "King of Glory" is much in the same vein. Sure there's nothing here to overwhelm anyone, but sometimes a good listen from a fresh voice with a genuine approach can bring you to the home stretch. --Michael Lyttle
Buy Perfect Day by Josh Bates from our Christian Music store - isbn: 0012325937 upc: 602341009720
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