Coming Home is the sophomore CD release by worship-leader Christopher Dayett. While Dayett’s first CD Here I AM covered several well-known praise & worship songs, his new collection features eleven originals from the Delaware native who is now based in North Carolina. His original call-to-hope “Anything’s Possible” appears in both releases.
One is first struck by the fine quality of Christopher’s voice. The easy delivery in his upper register and strong vibrato is reminiscent of pop icon Neil Sedaka. (If you’re coming up blank on Sedaka, Search iTunes Store and give a listen to “Bad Blood” and “Laughter In The Rain”.) The similarity of Dayett and Sedaka in vocal timbre is uncanny. It is not surprising that the cum laude theatre graduate of the University of North Carolina also minored in vocal music. In spite of the excessive reverb his voice truly sparkles.
Like his debut, Dayett once more opts for minimal production. This is all Christopher: solo voice accompanied simply but ably enough on piano. Some subtle synthesizer string pads provide a little sonic atmosphere far back in the mix. A violinist is credited as playing on the closing song “Go In Peace” but I had to listen a second time as it is barely audible. Nobody could fault Dayett with relying on production value to prop up this piano-voice demo of his songs of praise.
The songwriting on this project bears the mark of Dayett’s long-time work in musical theater and the influence of modern Catholic composers such as David Haas, Marty Haugen and the St. Louis Jesuits. The content is unapologetically Catholic with a clear Eucharistic bent. While Dayett gratefully acknowledges the inspiration of his bishop and former pastor, his lyrics suffer somewhat from the scarcity of rhyme and read more like prose with diminished returns on memorability.
I hope to hear more from this promising talent in the way of collaboration with other singers, musicians, songwriters and recording engineers who shine as bright in their crafts as Christopher does as a vocalist. The Church’s vault of metered prayers is crying out for fresh and well-crafted new musical settings. Maybe Christopher Dayett will find his way to treat us to his spin on them. One can hope.
You can purchase Coming Home at Christopher’s website, www.christopherdayett.com.