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Paul Colman’s career has been filled with interesting twists and turns.

The singer/songwriter fronted the Grammy-nominated Paul Colman Trio, launched a solo career, joined the Newsboys as a guitarist for a few years and is now embarking on a new solo career.

It’s a pretty interesting history, and "History" is a good name for his most recent album.

The disc covers his career, offering something old, something new and several things that are borrowed.

"History" opens with "If I Was Jesus," originally by country singer Toby Keith.

It’s an entertaining and somewhat provocative look at Jesus’ work on Earth.

The fun feeling continues in another borrowed song, Larry Norman’s upbeat "Sweet Sweet Song of Salvation."

However, Colman really shines when the album turns to his own music. Colman’s hits "Turn, "Run" and "Fill My Cup" might be from previous albums, but they’re still fresh and energetic.

The album changes tone a bit at the end with two new acoustic tracks. "All U Need" describes the comfort that God offers.

"The Killing Tree" takes a serious look at sin, fear and healing in one of the most intense and interesting tracks on the album.

On the Web: www.paulcolman.com

Stephanie Smith

Girl-powered rock has a solid spot in Christian music. Just check out Superchick, BarlowGirl and Fireflight.

Stephanie Smith joins the crew with her pop-oriented debut "Not Afraid."

The disc opens with that perennial teen-girl concern — appearance. "Beauty" begins with the startling confession: "I didn’t feel like putting on makeup. Is that OK? And you know what else? I didn’t do my hair and I didn’t take the time to figure out what to wear. Cause I know who I am underneath and I’m not afraid to show you what’s inside of me."

"Superstar" explains how God thinks you’re a star no matter what the world thinks.

"Not Afraid" takes an optimistic look at leaving the past behind. "In My Eyes" takes an edgier turn as it looks at struggle and pain.

The tracks are packed with light guitar riffs, electronic frills and energetic vocals.It’s the kind of music that you hear escaping from the earbuds of teen girls’ MP3 players — and it’s all pretty catchy.

Sure the messages are similar to those delivered by other bands over the years.

However, anyone who’s involved in youth ministry knows that those messages need to me repeated, repeated, repeated in new ways constantly.

On the Web: www.myspace.com/stephaniesmithmusic

Today’s Praise is a roundup of news and reviews from the contemporary Christian music industry.


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