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  Stronger 
Artist: Natalie Grant 
Label: Pamplin 
URL: <http://www.nataliegrant.com> 
Length: 11 tracks 

When Natalie Grant recorded her self-titled album featuring the hit "I Am Not Alone," it appeared that she was on her way to CCM stardom.  However, she ended up in record contract limbo for a time and seemed to disappear from the scene.  During that period, she wrote or co-wrote the eleven songs that form her comeback album, Stronger, released on Pamplin Records. Stronger is an understatement, for Grant not only belts out wonderful pop ballads and peppy danceable hits, but her voice is absolutely stellar throughout the album.  Coupled with tight production by newlywed husband Bernie Herms, veterans Tedd T., and John and Dino Elefante, among others, Grant delivers a must-have collection of contemporary tunes that puts her back on the road to stardom.

The disc opens with "What Other Man," a solid mid-tempo pop track featuring a shimmering guitar intro and Grant's equally shimmering voice. Next is the huge hit "Keep On Shining," which alone may be worth the price of admission.  This tune rightfully climbed the charts and is probably the shining highlight of the disc.  It is not alone, however, because there is nary a weak link on Stronger.  Grant touches many styles on the album, from Celine Dion and Whitney Houston flavored power crooners like "If the World Lost All Its Love" and "Finally Home" to hip, head-bobbing tracks like "Anything" and "Don't Wanna Make a Move."  Grant also contributes in the writing department, and her tune "I Love to Praise" is a good example of her talent there.

Boy band Plus One joins in on "Whenever You Need Somebody,"  la Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey on their mega-hit "One Sweet Day."  Although it's generous to compare the two collaborations, the Natalie Grant/Plus One tune is nothing to sniff at.

Stronger is another great album you can leave on "repeat" in your CD player and enjoy for days.  Natalie Grant is back with a vengeance, stronger than ever.

Zik Jackson 7/27/2001 
www.ZikJackson.com 
Send feedback e-mail to feedback@zikjackson.com  

   
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