Jon Gibson
The Man Inside

It’s been five years between projects for Jon Gibson, so you could say that this B-Rite debut introduces the respected soulful singer-songwriter all over again.

Though the “blue-eyed soul’ and “Stevie Wonder sound-alike” clichés that continue to be tossed in his direction are not inaccurate, there is so much more to Jon Gibson. An incredible master of tune, Gibson has always had the ability to pour relevant, very personal and Jesus-directed lyrics into his composition. The result is music that knows few boundaries; music that is immensely accessible.

The Man Inside is a seamless flow of fifteen cuts (12 songs and 3 interludes) that makes its 57 minutes total length seem to take half that. The title track serves as the thematic backdrop for the project, presenting an appeal to “drop your pride, look at the man inside”, laid over a relentlessThe Man Inside CD guitar- and drum-driven rhythm. Another fine cut is meditative and prayerful “Let It Be Done”, with slow keyboard progressions supported by acoustic piano lifting it into an album highlight. Rob Mullins’ production and jazz key work on this one is outstanding. Tommy Sims also contributes to the project, touching his production and instrumental skills to “There For You”.

However, the story to this project is that the majority of songs do not fall into the standard “Gospel” category, with respect to lyrics. There is no doubt, however, of the source of Gibson’s inspiration. With each song rooted in the Gospel (and scripture-backed), Gibson presents an album concept that echoes that of BeBe and CeCe’s Relationships project. Topics handled include carefreeness (“Fly The Wind”), family love (“Your Love Is Like That”) and unconditional love (“There For You”). While some in the Gospel community may not understand nor embrace this approach, there is no doubt that Gibson fills a void.

As Gibson explains, for those with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, “everything you do comes from your love for the Lord and His love for you. All you’ve got to do is go back to the Root”.

With the mighty support of B-Rite Music behind this project, it will be fascinating to see how many Gibson touches with his music —music infused with the love of Jesus Christ.

Producers: Jon Gibson, Tommy Sims, Armando Colin, Big Yam & Vinno, others
album release date: October 19, 1999
B-Rite Music

— reviewed by Stan North

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