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Artist: Charity Daws
Label: independent
Time: 8 tracks/31:17 min

Charity Daw’s debut album, Juvenilia, kicks off with an acoustic sound that branches out into a full-band pop song.  It would feel welcome on a Michelle Branch disc, but reminds more of the pop of Rachel Lampa or Jaci Velasquez.  Daw is a twenty-year-old singer/songwriter trying to jump-start her career.  The title Juvenilia refers to an “artist’s early work.”  Daw started this 8-song project at the age of 16, and it has now been fleshed-out and released.

Musically, this is MOR pop with a few mild flourishes of folk, jazz, and rock.  The band is adequate in their backing roles, but they never really shine.  They provide a solid foundation for the vocals.  Aaron Lebos provides the guitar work.  The remaining arrangements & piano playing are provided Aaron Lebos provides the guitar work.  He also arranged two songs.  The remaining arrangements and piano playing are provided by Nathaniel Burgos.  The rhythm section is handled by multiple players.

On her myspace site, Daw lists Nichole Nordeman as an influence & it is vocally evident.  Daw has the same basic vocal range & sings her songs within a comfortable range.  Daw has a pleasant, but not a distinctive, voice.  She never challenges us or herself with any melody lines.  All are pleasant, without being distinctive.

Carole King is another influence, according to Daw’s myspace page (unfortunately misspelled there).  She has a long way to go before approaching the ability’s of this songwriting giant.  Musically, it is very basic pop, as noted above.  Lyrically, Daw addresses the concerns that you would expect from a youth group teenage girl.  Some songs address spiritual concerns in a very generic light, as “Sometimes (My Heart Falls Asleep)” shows:

Sometimes my heart falls asleep
Sometimes my words get the best of me
I’m some kind of mess
Like a movie of the week
And this life is one long scene
Won’t somebody wake my heart up…please?
"Where Your Glory Dwells” shares more specific Christian praise:
Take me, break me
Be my torn soul’s mender
Change me, arrange me
Cause Lord I surrender
Daw also delivers lyrics that speak to the emotions we experience here on Earth.  “Tragedy Anne” demonstrates:
 I’ve tied myself in a knot
Did it all in good time
Tried to stay civil
I never know when to stop
But I’m the one who draws lines
Well, I mostly scribble
You can take everything I said to the river
If it’s drama you want then count on me to deliver
Lyrically, Charity shows promise.  I expect as she grows, the lyrics will broaden in scope.

For fans of CCM radio, Charity delivers a pleasant disc, showcasing the promise of this young talent.

By Jonathan Nelson



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