More Beautiful You
Jonny Diaz (who could have easily followed his three older brothers into the ranks of professional baseball) fully establishes himself as a singer/songwriter with this appealing 2009 debut. Diaz’s style leans towards the breezy folk-pop of Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson and the like. He brings an explicitly Christian perspective to his writing while keeping the accent on engaging melodies and acoustic instrumentation. More Beautiful You’s title number sums up the album’s virtues — its positive message (aimed at young woman fighting battles of self-esteem) and summery guitar-driven groove are tailor-made for airplay. Diaz maintains his upbeat mood for “Love Like You Loved” (lilting to a Caribbean beat) and “Stand for You” (a quietly resolute statement of belief set to a buoyant track). “Soon Will Fade” is a playful look at life’s fleeting pleasures, balancing such heavier fare as “Prodigal Like Me” and “Hold Me.” Especially smile inducing is “The Opener,” an account of Jonny’s days as the low man on the concert bill.