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Where to Begin
Artist: Jared Anderson
Label: Provident/Integrity
Length: 10/36:31

The problem with successful musicians is that their success spawns a wave of imitators, an attempt from savvy producers and record labels to cash in on whatever is popular at a given moment. The history of CCM if rife with examples of this phenomenon - it used to be that the lag time between whatever was popular in the mainstream would show up on Christian radio in about two years. With the advent of the Internet, producers who work both sides of the fence, and major record companies buying up almost every decent sized Christian label. the lag time is down to a few weeks these days. 

This should not be perceived as a shot at Jared Anderson, who is talented in his own right, but Anderson's album Where to Begin is due to suffer from comparison to current media monsters MercyMe, not to mention Dove Award poster boy Steven Curtis Chapman. Almost every song here sounds as if it could be performed by either of those artists, and the album is perhaps not coincidentally produced by MercyMe's knob tweaker, Pete Kibley. 

Probably the one thing that distinguishes Anderson from the others mentioned is his use of piano throughout the disc. "I'm Coming Your Way" is the lone departure from the other tunes here, straining to reach a Coldplay/Keane wall fo sound, and almost getting there. Unfortunately, I've listened to this disc several times, and cannot for the life of me remember any other song without having to look it up on the sleeve. 

Brian A. Smith
27 August 2007