Sounds like … a broad pop/rock palette that's probably closest to a-ha and PFR, with flashes of modern rock a la Switchfoot and Soundgarden, alt-pop resembling Sleeping at Last and Phil Wickham, and Brit rock similar to Radiohead and Coldplay.

At a glance … this sophomore effort from acclaimed writer and producer Adam Watts is a success on all counts, from the inventive songcraft and the creative articulations of faith, to the skillful musicianship and stylistic variations.

Show of hands, please. How many of you know the name Adam Watts? Yeah, I was afraid of that, though chances are you're familiar with some of his work without even knowing it.

A regular worship leader at California's Saddleback Church, Watts co-wrote and produced on the first three projects from Jeremy Camp, as well as albums from Camp's wife Adie and fellow Saddleback-ian Jadon Lavik. Moreover, he's written and produced for mainstream teen sensations Jesse McCartney (including the hit "Beautiful Soul"), Aly & AJ, and Hannah Montana. And if that wasn't enough, his contract with Disney led to participation as a writer/producer for the TV movie blockbuster High School Musical, its soundtrack the top-selling album of 2006.

An impressive resume for sure, though not one that fully reveals the creative depths that Watts is capable of, especially after listening to his more mature sounding solo work. The Noise Inside, his debut through BEC Recordings, was released with little fanfare, but was strong enough for us to name Watts one of the Best New Artists of 2004. His independently released sophomore effort proves the first album was no fluke. In fact, it's even better … and no, it sounds nothing like High School Musical.

What makes Sleeping Fire ...

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Sleeping Fire
Our Rating
5 Stars - Masterpiece
Average Rating
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Release Date
September 1, 2006
Red Decibel
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