Thursday, October 07, 2010


     THE OCEAN is Bebo Norman's seventh studio project.  It was released September 28, 2010 on BEC Recordings.  It opens with a nice pop song, 'Everything I Hoped You'd Be', which expresses a desire for an intimate relationship with God: "Take me to the river/Lead me to the healer/Let it wash me over, oh my soul." 'God of my Everything', of which there are two versions on the album, one being more radio friendly, similarly petitions God: "Oh God of Heaven, come and hem me in/Gather the pieces that are broken/Show me the wonder of You again/Oh God of Heaven."
     'Could you ever look at Me' finds his voice sounding ragged.  It is a ballad about how God is the center of his wife's world, and not him: "I hope you never look at me the way you're looking at the ocean/Cause in the sunrise I have seen I was never meant to be/The light of your world." 'The Middle' is a ballad about relational struggle that I could see Michael Roe doing.
     Two inspirational tracks at the end of the album are noteworthy.  'I hope you see Jesus' is co-written and sung with Laura Story.  Norman's vocals are appropriately shaky on this one: "Instead of anger, instead of unbelief/Instead of weakness in the heart of me/Instead of a wounded soul that sometimes loses faith/I hope you see Jesus." Do I hear an "Amen" from the congregation?  'Remember Us' is a song of surrender to God: "When the light of day is gone/And our suffering is long/We lift up our needful song/To the Maker of all."
     OCEAN is produced by Bebo Norman and Jason Ingram.  Ingram co-writes and performs on the album as well.  I recommend this one to fans of light pop artists such as Sara Groves.  I'm giving it an 80%.