Picks and Pans Review: The Way I Am
Although she is from the Sunflower State, Kansas, nobody would accuse Jennifer Knapp of, as the title of an old Swing Era tune put it, a "sunny disposish." The contemporary Christian artist's folk-pop material is mired in self-analysis on her third album, The Way I Am.
At her best, on tunes such as the subtly passionate "Breathe on Me," the classically trained Lilith Fair alum philosophizes intelligently. At her worst, on cuts such as the introspective "No Regrets" (no, not the Billie Holiday standard, but Knapp's own composition), she evokes the same dirge-like quality that afflicts so many female pop singers these days. (When your backup cello player is the liveliest musician on your album, you're in trouble.)
The somewhat self-congratulatory title track lacks the soaring spirit of Jessica Andrews's similarly themed hit "Who I Am." Knapp has plenty to be upbeat about, receiving a Best Rock Gospel Album Grammy nomination for 2000's Lay It Down and touring extensively last year. But the way she is on this disc, you wouldn't know it.
Bottom Line: Uninspiring