In honor of American Idol ending this week, I decided to review the new release by former contestant Chris Sligh. Running Back to You shows us that the goofball jokester has his more serious side as well. The sound is pop rock with a little more variety than the typical CCM fare. Three songs from his former band, Half Past Forever, are updated and included on this project. I don't think Sligh has reached his full potential here, but it's is a good start. Think The Afters with a little less experience and polish.
Musically, there's plenty of guitar-driven pop rock, but the most creative song is the string-dominated "Loaded Gun," featuring Sligh's falsetto. The audience appears to be the Christian market, as several songs are worship oriented or prayers that might not make sense to non-believers, although a couple of songs have cross-over potential for American Idol fans.
Lyrically, "I'm Clean" is Sligh at his Christian best, an upbeat pop rocker with one of the better theological messages I've seen lately:
I'm clean / through no good of my own / But when you look at me You see Your Son / And I am clean / Looking back, my past is worth forgetting / But every try brings me to my knees / Where I can see the shades of your forgiving / Each color covers a sinful memory // On my own, I'm simply man, at best / But my sin's as far as east from west / Christ's perfection now defines me
It's followed by the prayerful rock ballad "Empty Me" before the rocking "Something Beautiful" gets backs to the toe-tapping summer driving music that characterizes the CD. I'll be eager to see if Sligh's next project establishes his creativity or slides into mainstream CCM pop rock. I'm betting this smooth tenor has some superb projects in his future.
Visit Chris Sligh.