What happened to Warren Barfield? After a season of trials and setbacks that roughed him up in more ways that one, the singer/songwriter unleashed a soulful guitar-pop album, 2006's Reach, that stood in stark contrast to the guy next door charm of his self-titled debut. The disc earned him favorable reviews that compared him to the likes of John Mayer and Marc Broussard -- the latter of which makes sense, given Marshall Altman manned both albums' boards. But that's as far as the soulfulness went. Somewhere between that effort and 2008's Worth Fighting For, Barfield must have had another epiphany, one that motivated him to regress to the Steven Curtis Chapman mold of his well-received but ultimately ordinary first album. Nothing wrong with sounding like Chapman -- Barfield unabashedly counts him as one of his influences -- but in this case it seems like a step back, especially in light of the routine production values from Charlie Peacock, Mark A. Miller, and others whose credentials are in CCM pop, not the AAA pop that Reach favored. Of late, Chapman himself has gotten hipper and more experimental -- even rockier -- while Worth Fighting For gives the impression Barfield is merely content with pre-Signs of Life Chapman, a countrified brand of pop/rock that's more Sawyer Brown than collegiate alt pop … la Mayer. There's one beacon of light in the form of "Love Is Not a Fight," a thoughtful power ballad that speaks against divorce -- a poignant moment that's worth the price of just about the entire album. More daring, personable moves like that prove that Worth Fighting For is something of a hiccup, that there's more depth and soul to Barfield's boyish good looks than meets the eye. ~ Andree Farias
12502NWarren Barfield - Worth Fighting For (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/08/083061086428.jpg?v=311.9810.76USDOutOfStockEssentialCDChristian-Gospel-MusicWarren-Barfield2008-09-27
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