Home > CCM, Christian Music, Christian Pop, Christian Rock, Greatest Albums, Jesus Music > 149. The Bride – Crystal Lewis

149. The Bride – Crystal Lewis

THE BRIDE (1993)

Crystal Lewis

Though it would be three more years before Crystal Lewis became one of the biggest names in CCM with her best-selling “Beauty For Ashes” album, it was in 1993 with the release of The Bride that Lewis achieved her artistic triumph. Following the very cool and funky “Remember,” The Bride was a genre shifting work of artistic merit that expanded Lewis’ musical palette and vocal prowess.

The musicians on the album read like a who’s who and their playing is true and authentic. Abraham Laboriel, Shawn Tubbs, Dave Spurr, John Knox and John Andrew Schreiner.

The production was more stark and “band” sounding than any in her career and this live band feel creating a vocal urgency and attitude that some earlier releases may have lacked. This is not the same Lewis who simply sang Bill Baumgart porcelain produced pop songs. This was confident and forceful woman with something to say. This is more evident on the stark and funky “Little Jackie.”

The groove of  “The Mother and The Bride” is just so smooth and cool while “Don’t Worry” is more progressive jazz influenced with amazing sax work. “You’ll Be back For Me” rocks with a power that would be seen later on her “Fearless” release but works best here.

The centerpiece of the album is the tremendous “My Redeemer Lives.” This worship song shows Lewis’ vocal powers more than just about any other in her career. Lewis holds her own against backing vocal crew that included Alfie Silas, Debbie McClendon and Linda McCrary that accompanies her and leads to several spine tingling moments.

The album also contains a wonderful version of “Amazing Grace” that would point toward the several hymns projects she has been involved with as well as being a nod to her traditional church upbringing the appreciation for the hymns in provided to her.

Many fans that discovered her with “Beauty for Ashes” have little appreciation for this album. It is much more raw and edgy and nothing like the soft AC artists that sold hundreds of thousands of copies. But for those that watched her progress as an artist from “Hi Tops” through Beyond the Charade, The Bride marks a step of maturity and artistic confidence that is unmatched on any other release.

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    February 18, 2011 at 1:15 am

    This and “Remember” are still my favorites of Crystal’s. Not as fond of slicker music. Also, the title cut of her third album, “Let Love In” was revelatory and a harbinger of what was to come.

  2. February 21, 2011 at 12:52 am

    “Joy” and “Let Love In” were the albums that really drew me in with Crystal. While I’d heard her with Wild Blue Yonder and her debut, those were the two albums that really made me aware of what she was capable of. I totally agree with “The Bridge” as THE album of her career. Everything after it paled for me–especially “Fearlesss”. These were the albums she let it all out on. I’m hoping we get at least one more GREAT album from her.

  3. Don
    April 8, 2011 at 4:46 am

    I knew Crystal’s sister, and met Crystal once – a great person. She even tried to engage my two jaundiced teenage nieces – who had no idea who she was. Cool parents, too. They did an impromptu concert for the folks in the group home I worked in!

  4. June 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I have only two albums from Crystal: “Gold” and of course this one. I like this so much better. The song “You’ll Be Back for Me” is my favorite.

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