Take Natalie Merchant’s understated vocal delivery, the haunting tone of Fiona Apple, the laid-back vocals of Sarah McLachlan and the praise-worthy passion of Jaci Velasquez, and you’ll get the voice of Ginny Owens. All of that, though, can’t save her from falling into cliché on her latest effort, Beautiful.
Her debut, Without Condition, is full of gorgeous melodies and harmonies that have a hint of mystery and an altogether innovative sound, consequently winning her the Dove Award for Best New Artist.
But on Beautiful, her third album, Owens takes away that innovation and creates eleven mid-tempo, radio-friendly songs that won’t win her any more awards. Owens herself asserts that this album “feels like a comfortable pair of jeans.” In other words, the album is something that has been done over and over again.
Each track is a re-hashing of the one that precedes it, making Beautiful sound generic. The only glimmer of change occurs mid-way through “Ordinary Way,” when an electric guitar kicks in and adds some badly-needed edge.
Owens isn’t going to win any awards or new fans with this album. Hopefully on the next album she will be willing to break in a new pair of jeans.
Ginny Owens www.ginnyowens.com