Spirit is the sixth studio album by Amos Lee.
Spirit feels like two EPs put on a single disk to me. Half of the album has a very strong R&B/Gospel feel to it, while the other half is the bluesy folk rock he is so very well known for.
That said, this album is filled with a number of excellent songs, signalling that his songwriting is still strong, even as he stretches himself out of the comfortable groove that has had him headlining for the last 11 years.
Recommendation: Buy It
Songs I have a playlist for: One Lonely Light, Wait Up for Me, Walls, With You
Clunkers I will thumbs down: Till You Come Back Through
It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense is the seventh studio album by Ingrid Michaelson.
After my first full listen to It Doesn’t Have to Make Sense, I felt like this was a breakup album. I don’t know if it really is or not, although she did get a divorce while she was touring the album prior to this. Still, it has a lot of songs that feel like songs that belong on a breakup album – Light Me Up – seemingly about moving on; Drink You Gone – about not getting over it; Hell No – not taking you back; Old Days – about the falling apart and not coming back together. And, overall, this album is a little slower, a little less upbeat, which also contributes to that feel. Still, Michaelson remains a better than average songwriter and she has written some wonderful songs for this album.
Not that there’s nothing but breakup songs here. Miss America is a anthem for women good with being themselves. Celebrate is upbeat nostalgia for youth. I Remember Her feels like an elegaic homage.
There should be plenty here to please all of her fans, but there’s enough catchy songwriting that Michaelson should also continue to appeal to new listeners.
Recommendation: Buy It
Songs I have a Playlist for: Light Me Up, Miss America, Hell No, Old Days
Clunkers I will Thumbs Down: Another Life
Something Worth Saving is the sixth studio album from Gavin DeGraw, released on September 9th, 2016 from RCA Records.
Fans of Gavin DeGraw will recognize a familiar formula of bouncy, upbeat pop mixed with the occasional bombastic ballad. For me, the upbeat stuff usually works far better than the ballads with DeGraw, and Something Worth Saving hasn’t really changed my mind.
For my tastes, Gavin DeGraw just writes better upbeat pop than he does ballads, which tends towards the self-indulgently melancholy in his hands. There are exceptions (think Not Over You), and this album has an odd exception or two (Say I Am is a successful ballad, and Annalee is an upbeat presentation with a subversive lyric), but still, the pattern holds pretty well.
Recommendation: Try it
Songs I have a playlist for: She Sets The City On Fire, Kite Like Girl, Say I Am, Analee
Songs I will thumbs down: Makin Love With the Radio On, Harder to Believe, Something Worth Saving