Bryan Andrew Wilson
The One Percent
Bryan’s Songs Records / EchoPark JDI
By Bob Marovich
Rarely do we have a chance to hear child singers grow up on record.
There are exceptions, most notably Michael Jackson, who got better with age, and Judy Garland, whose voice seemed to have matured prior to puberty.
We first heard Bryan Andrew Wilson in 1994 as a pre-teen leading “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” with the Mississippi Children’s Choir. His voice has matured steadily since then and it has come to full flower on “Show Me Your Glory/Set a Fire,” a CCM inspired piece on his new album, The One Percent.
To be clear, the “one percent” Wilson refers to is not America’s wealthiest individuals but the prodigals among us, the one sheep out of 100 that God goes after.
The album benefits from deft production and a variety of musical arrangements that intrigue and please without giving the listener aural whiplash. “Turning Away,” a ballad and current single, is by far the album’s highlight and Wilson’s best single to date. It is likely to appeal to a broad swath of gospel fans than many of the album’s other songs, which are geared more to a young adult audience. But when I say most, I am excluding the churchy “I’m Standing,” which features a fine assist from Duranice Pace; and the altar call number, “Just As We Are,” which closes out the CD.
Other interesting selections include a gospelized version of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” complete with an island beat; and “Pick Me,” a song of discipleship fueled by a ‘60s twist rhythm.
The background vocalists provide ample energy and harmonies (indie artist Macheeste Malloy can be heard on “Show Me Your Glory/Set A Fire”) and the musicians are capable of playing nearly any style thrown their way.
With large-sized production and energetic singing and musicianship, Bryan Andrew Wilson gives The One Percent 100 percent.
Four of Five Stars
Picks: “Turning Away,” “I’m Standing.”