Wilshire 
Artist: Wilshire 
Label: Rocketown Records 1998 

The promotional materials that accompanied the pre-release of Wilshire's debut album on Rocketown Records contain a glowing recommendation from Michael W. Smith, in which he writes most favorably of Micah and Lori Wilshire's talent, and raves about their unique writing and production. 
  
There is talent here, certainly.  But I can't see much that's unique underneath all the slick production values.  The pre-release is slickly packaged, with a glossy photo of the artists looking serious and made-up. 
  
The music is pleasant. The Wilshires have nice voices and sing together well, their harmonies tightly woven over full-band accompaniments.  There is a full complement of acoustic and electric guitars and even a sitar on one track. There are keyboards and the occasional string background, and a ubiquitous drum machine.  This is well-done mainstream pop, rather than the unique sound Smith lauds.  
  
The lyrics are not particularly unusual or deep, either.  There are songs that could be human love songs or could be love songs to God.  There are songs expressing longing to be closer to God.  There's a song sung from God's perspective, expressing love and longing for relationships with humans. There's a song about hiding behind a mask.  Stock themes, though the Wilshires's lyrics do stay away from the more cliched metaphors and images for the most part.  
  
Fans of mainstream CCM will enjoy this album.  Those who are looking for more nuanced work or something with more edge will probably look elsewhere.   

By Chris Parks 
  

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