Blessing and curse

A Beautiful Sound (Forefront Records)

Geoff Moore

By Kory Wilcoxson

Geoff Moore made his name in Christian music by making fun, trendy guitar rock with his band the Distance. When Moore went solo in 1999, his self-titled album wasn't nearly as fun, but still featured the classic rock sound he was known for.

With A Beautiful Sound, his second solo effort, Moore distances himself further from his earlier sound, opting for a more watered-down approach. This is a blessing and a curse for Moore. It's a blessing because his lyrics are more substantial. Singing to God that "we need a home run" on a previous album was sporty, but hardly the stuff of down-on-your-knees prayer. Sound is filled with more earnest, searching lyrics, and Moore's ability to paint pictures with his words is prevalent on a number of tracks ("The Arist," "Surrounded").

On the flipside, this maturing sound is a curse because Moore is aligning himself with the overabundance of soft-rock Christian artists whose music is indistinguishable from each other. Moore's voice is too needed and his message too urgent to be lost in the bland shuffle. "Sound" is a strong album, and shows flashes of brilliance (the title track is superb), but here's one fan who hopes Moore is able to combine the edge of his earlier sound with the deep, mature lyrics of his new one. That would be a beautiful sound.