Style: Radio-friendly, singer/songwriter soul-pop; compare to Jason Mraz, Gavin DeGraw, Mat Kearney
Top tracks: "Little Lies," "What I Need" (w/ Jonny Lang)
Dave Barnes boasts an impressive, blue-eyed-soul voice, though here it's set amid Ed Cash's super-slick, flavorless production and pop that's genre-jumping yet utterly ordinary. There's nothing wrong with writing simple, catchy songs, of course. But they should have an artist's singular stamp, and while Barnes offers tracks that are more explicitly God-centered than your average Clear Channel pop-rocker (e.g. "God Gave Me You," "Amen"), there's little to distinguish it sonically from the pablum on American Idol each week. But then, Idol remains one of TV's top shows, so maybe this is the kind of music America wants.1
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