I get a lot of great pre-releases each and every month, but being a one-woman operation makes it difficult to do reviews and “Take 5’s” with all these great artists. So at the end of each month, I’m going to try to do a wrap-up on what’s been released.
Last Tuesday (April 21), Jars of Clay released their umpteenth album, The Long Fall Back to Earth (Gray Matters/Essential). Of course, the album is wonderful, progressive, thoughtful, and genius. Since I received the album I’ve been trying to think of a creative way to articulate its brilliance, but there are other writers who have done a much better job than I could. Look, just buy the album; it’s really good.
Newcomer Sarah Reeves also released a 7-song EP Sweet, Sweet Sound (Sparrow) on April 21. The 19 year-old is cute as a button with flaming red hair to boot, but don’t let her looks fool you. This girl has stand-out vocals. She has an airy Leigh Nash quality with a little more oomph, yet doesn’t overpower her songs. The result are simply beautiful songs that are contemporary and worshipful, but within the pop-rock genre. Sarah Reeves is one of the best female singers to debut so far this year.
Robert Pierre released his sophomore album Identity (Integrity) April 28 and it’s a pop punk festival of fun. Having never listened to his first album, I was pretty skeptical about the kid. I mean, he’s only 16, how good could he be? Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised. While he’s a bit too bubblegum pop for me, I can see ‘tweens really digging him.
Oh Snap! (EMI) Philmont did it again. The album was first released digitally last summer and then was re-released in album format with a new song (“The Ascension”) on April 21. The band has an early Relient K feel and the band delivers an energy-packed first album.
And…that’s a wrap (up)!