Personnel: Phil Wickham (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Peter Kipley (programming).
Recording information: Lush.
Coming in under the radar may suit Phil Wickham just fine, if only because his music is too original to fall prey to the pressures of being in the spotlight. Take his sophomore effort, Cannons, as a mere atmospheric Britpop record and you will have missed the point entirely. Between his mesmerizing tenor and his quietly potent songwriting, the California native builds on the lyrical prowess of his self-titled debut with this collection of captivating tunes. You get the feeling that Wickham actually gets it with his witness of the gospel, that is, he isn't simply stuffing clichés into some producer's tired idea of radio-friendly pop songs. And he doesn't have to yell for his message to ring loud as day. "Beautiful," for instance, conveys deep love for God's creation, while "Desire" confesses humankind's nothingness before Him and a yearning to follow. Cannons is an intriguing tale of personal worship that showcases Wickham's voice and insightful songwriting. ~ Jared Johnson