Life On the Inside
Jadon Lavik's sophomore effort showed more promise in his acoustic-based pop after the just-slightly-above-the-radar buzz generated from his 2004 hit "What If." The music ministry intern-turned-recording artist continued to demonstrate his talent for weaving together sparkling pop songs that resemble the acoustic craft of Shawn McDonald, Aaron Shust and Bebo Norman. Rather than attempt to match the status quo worship sound, Lavik set his sights higher and seemed to aim for a deeper, more introspective collection. Songs like "On the Outside" and "Searching" focus on the distance and pain Christians can feel when living by faith in an imperfect world. Other tracks counter that pain with unquestionable messages of relief and rest. At its best — on songs like "Meant to Be" and "Just Like You" — Lavik sounds like a seasoned songwriter hitting his stride. At other times, tracks border on predictable or offer little in the way of new ideas or messages. Still, there are plenty of gems on the album to satisfy fans and new listeners alike, particularly to hear Lavik's golden voice.