Reviewed by Paul A. Rose,
History by Paul Colman
"...a mish mash of classic Colman tunes, with a couple of surprises thrown in."
If you’ve ever met Paul Colman, you know he’s the picture of humbleness off stage. I used to tell my backstage crew at the festivals I could tell them exactly what Paul would say if they asked him if he needed any help. He would always shrug and replay, in his distinctive Australian accent, “Not unless you can give me some mental help.” Regardless of whether he was performing solo, with the other three guys in the Paul Colman Trio, or as part of one of the most successful bands in Christian music, the Newsboys, Paul always maintained his humility and self-deprecating humor.
So it seems almost odd that he should be putting out a “Best of” collection, or, rather, a retrospective, according to InPop Records. The timing might also be in question, coming on the heels of Paul leaving his Australian neighbors of the Newsboys and just before the band announced they were bringing in Michael Tait as the new lead vocalist so Peter Furler could spend more time with his family. However, knowing Paul (and the fact that he’s still on Furler’s InPop Record label), I’m pretty sure there are no hard feelings or untold stories, just Paul feeling it was his time to move back to his solo career.
That said, History is a mish mash of classic Colman tunes, with a couple of surprises thrown in. The CD opens with Paul’s interpretation of Toby Keith’s “If I Was Jesus,” which might seem sacrilegious if performed by another artist, but Colman pulls it off effectively, making it instead a testimony of Colman’s own faith.
The CD continues with another great cover, the best rendition of Delirious?’s “History Maker,” proving it is just as effective with a single voice in a studio as it is when performed live.
The next track is all Paul, from his solo album Let It Go, “Holding On To You” presents more details on the depths of Paul’s faith. The artist has never been one to deny his humanness and manages to open his struggles to his listeners while at the same time affirming God’s sovereignty.
Colman then slips in three of his most popular tracks from his Trio days, off of New Map of the World, “Turn,” “Run,” and “Fill My Cup,” all live concert favorites, even during Newsboys shows.
Paul goes back to Let It Go for “Gloria (All God’s Children),” and “The One Thing.” He then drops in the only single on this album from the underrated Trio album, One, the catchy, upbeat “Solution.”
Then Colman delivers a treat to fans, by pulling out two of his older songs, “All U Need,” (previously only available on the Trio’s limited release, self-produced LIVE album) and the Live version of “The Killing Tree,” also from LIVE.
Paul finishes out the album in perfect Colman finesse with “I Owe It All,” reminding his listeners (as well as himself, he’d correct us) that there is only One who is responsible for all of his success, skill and popularity – our Lord.
My only disappointment is that Paul left out one of my favorite songs, his seriously underrated, “My Brother Jack.” Otherwise, the album is a gem that fans will want to pick up, regardless of how much of Paul’s music they already own. And the retrospective serves very well as an introduction for those who may have only discovered Colman in the last three years while he was with the Newsboys.
Reportedly, Colman is working on 20-30 new songs for his next studio project. Sounds good to me.
A. Rose, Jr. is a writer-producer working in Southwest Florida. He
served as the Senior Television Editor for Infuze Magazine (limited archives
available at http://infuzeremembered.1330productions.com/) and has also written
articles for RelevantMagazine.com. He is currently co-writing a teen zombie romance
film, Undead Heartache, that he hopes to begin shooting soon. You can follow
the film’s progress at UndeadHeartache.com.