Album Review: Erik Grant Bennett – “Bulletproof”
“There’s always someone to take my hand,” Erik Grant Bennett sings on “He is the Answer,” his warm voice caressed by a blanket of soothing acoustic guitars. Obviously, Bulletproof is a different kind of contemporary country record, one that is fueled by a positive spirit and a strong foundation of religious faith. Country Gospel albums always run the risk of sounding overly preachy or too sugary; thankfully, Bennett doesn’t forsake the music for the message, and the lyrics have depth and compelling narratives.
With its crystalline production, Bulletproof does not sound like an independent release. Bennett’s vocals are mixed upfront, and the instrumentation has a clarity and punch that is often not heard with unsigned acts. But although Bennett is obviously targeting commercial outlets here, the intimacy of the music is not buried by studio gloss. For example, the lovely “I Pray” almost feels as if Bennett is crooning in your living room. Balancing the standards of FM radio with the artistic subtleties needed to connect with the everyday listener is not easy to achieve; however, Bennett does so effortlessly.
Unlike some Christian records, Bulletproof doesn’t fall prey to clichés. The words are honest and straightforward. “The road is long when you can’t figure out where you belong,” Bennett laments on “When Nobody’s Watching.” He’s not preaching to the converted here; instead, he is speaking to those who are seeking some much-needed light in their lives.