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Made to Shine
Artist: John David Webster
Label: BHT Records
Length: 11 Tracks / 42:01

With new artists there is always a level of mysteriousness and wonder, since one doesn't know what they are going to sound like.  Sure clips might be available but they rarely paint the whole picture of what an artist will sound like.  The first big opportunity to hear an artist is on their debut project, which makes these projects extremely important.  A good debut can draw listeners in, but a bad one may turn them off to never see them return again.

John David Webster has the pleasure of being signed to a label run by Blanton and Harrell two industry veterans.  This means that they know what they are doing, but also can make fans expect more from Webster and whatever artists these two sign.  Webster (no relation to the TV show character from the '80s) steps up to the challenge with a good record. One of the more notable aspects of the album is the fact while he delivers some solid AC songs, he never settles into this style, instead offering up some variety with his music. Sure some songs are a dead ringer for Mark Schultz, but others let loose with more of a rock sound.  On "Come Alive" his voice takes on a different sound and feel, which is different from the feel of it on the third track "Miracle," Webster changes things up again with the piano driven song "Real Love." "Now" changes things up even more with a sound that would make many think of Mark Schultz, which continues with "Wait For Me".  Many who hear these two songs on the radio are going to swear that it is Mark Schultz singing.

Standout tracks include "Real Love," "Wait for Me," and "Now."  There really isn't a bad track on this project.  Unfortunately one of the albums strengths is also its biggest weakness.  Webster never really seems to settle into a style, instead jumping between several.  It will be interesting to see on his next few projects what sort of style he eventually settles into.

This is a good debut release from Webster.  Keep your eyes on Webster as he has the potential to do quite well in the years to come.

Burton Wray May 21, 2005



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