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Artist:  Bryan Duncan
Label:  Diadem
Length:  10 Tracks

Bryan Duncan's last project was a "best of" collection put out by his old record label, but _Joyride_ marks the beginning of a new artist on a new label; Diadem Music Group.  As a result, Duncan has dipped back in style to some earlier sounds in his career, while keeping things fresh, smooth, and relaxing.  "I finally had a license to go back to the style of music I grew up on: old-school soul," he says.  "That meant I could loosen up a bit with the songwriting and have a good time.  Lyrically I found myself going back to the basic fundamentals too-the fundamentals of my faith.  The result is like a celebration.  Joyride is what happens when I quit analyzing my faith and just embrace it."

That's why Joyride seems so relevant rather than a regurgitated effort to fit a best selling formula.  Case in point comes from the danceable "It Gets Better," as well as the future hit single "Maybe I'm Amazed."  That track is a cover that was originally performed by Paul McCartney, and Duncan paid proper respect to the former Beatle, while adding a bit of a gospel feel with a choir in the background and a few bars of "Amazing Grace." 

"I'll Always Have Jesus" is even more of a departure of the old Duncan, showing off a jazzy, slowed down sound put to a slow drum beat and tinkling piano. "The Battle Is the Lord's" closes the disc, mixing a blues with urban gospel type feel.  The track is also encouraging in the fact that it speaks of surrendering all cares up to the Lord and trusting in His greater plan.  This project is a safe bet for any long time Duncan fan and also gives new listeners reasons to believe in this veteran's talent.

2001Andy Argyrakis 1/7/2001



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