No this isn't a Bash-N-The-Code retrospective (sorry for the Obscure CCM reference - They Were a '80s CCM band that Wrote a song with the above title). Diamond is the title of the latest release by Latin/Pop CCM artist Jaci Velasquez. I admit to being a little unfamiliar with her music, though I do possess one of her Christmas albums. Diamond is her FIFTEENTH album. She puts out an album roughly every year and a half to two years.
Diamond is a pretty straightforward pop-rock album in the Amy Grant, Charmaine, Kerrie Roberts tradition. There's no needle pushing highs in this album, it's pretty low key. The eleven AC Radio friendly tunes (1 in Spanish) seem "orchestrated" to get radio airplay or even on a soundtrack.
Now don't get me wrong, I like this album, I just don't love it. Maybe it's not hard enough for me, or maybe I am just a bit more comfortable with Pop that occasionally pushes the envelopes of the genre (Like the aforementioned Roberts or Sarah Kelly). The Spanish song is actually my favorite on this album. Con El Viento A Mi Favor (The Wind in My Favor) is beautiful, though I don't understand a word of it. It's like the joke about the preacher. I don't know what she was saying but she said it wonderfully.
Other songs of note are Diamond, Stay, Girl (I am a real sucker for horns), and Trust In You. As to the last one, If she ever decides to hang up the AC crowd, the girl can rock. It is a great moment in the album, even if it is near the end.
As a final rating, I am giving 4.5 Emeralds to Diamond. I think if a few more of the songs were like Trust in You, it could have gone higher. The rating puts it in the mix, and if I need to explode the nomination limit, like I did this year, to accommodate a number of worthy entries and reduce the "we was robbed" comments from fans, it may stand a good chance of making it in. A number of 4.5's made it this year, though I think that will forever be the limit.
The Releases continue to come in, and we at The Night Beat are ready. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.