Gratitude permeates winning debut
Adam Padfield’s debut album, Destination Unknown, won the 2007 Gospel Music Association Covenant Award for Best Blues/Jazz Album of the year, and it’s easy to understand why. The album is an impressive musical experience with great attention to detail. It fluctuates between a fun, pop-jazz flavour and a more reflective, worshipful mood. Padfield’s style is reminiscent of Greg Sczebel and Chris Rice; while his voice evokes Steven Curtis Chapman and, at times, John Mayer.
Overall, the album is quite nostalgic with a lot of focus on the family and childhood of the Waterloo (Ont.) MB Church member. While the album is close to sentimental at times, one can’t help but be drawn into Padfield’s experience. This is an album of thankfulness, and written from the perspective of someone looking back and recognizing all he’s been given.
Padfield has a great voice and a nice set of musical chops; there are some very nice lead piano and guitar moments throughout the album. While the piano licks generally feel a little safe, they are precise and musically appropriate. An accomplished musician, Padfield is credited with multiple instruments on the album. The song arrangements are interesting and well thought out, and the overall production is well done.
The album’s bookend songs both stood out for me. The first tune, “Alana’s Song,” grooves in a light jazz style and was written for Padfield’s cousin. The album closes with “He Who Dwells,” a beautiful duet with a soothing 6/8 feel, based on Psalm 21.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album and definitely recommend it. While not all the lyrics are explicitly Christian, the work clearly celebrates the good things of God, and that is a worthwhile endeavour.
The album is available at Padfield’s website: www.adampadfield.com.