Released: November 11th, 2016 / Total Tracks: 13 / My Favorite Song: Little Boy / Already on the Radio: Drop and Run / My Radio Recommendations: Ray of Light, Stronger, Working on Me, Little Boy / Sweet Sweet Album Rating: 3.2 Stars (out of 5 Stars)
Sommer’s album was the last one I purchased before my most recent hiatus from writing. My order had somehow gotten hung up through her website, and so I had to wait a little while, and I ultimately had to reach out to Sommer via Twitter. As I entered into my writing break, my copy arrived, and I can say that I was not feeling up to listening to new voice. Fast forward to early April, when the itch to write became too much to ignore. I still had the CD in my car, and I was ready to give Jonny Diaz and Natalie Grant some time out of the CD changer. I hit play just after Resurrection Sunday, and it has been playing ever since. So, as a Fedora Tip to Sommer I will not only be adding this review, but she will be Sweet Sweet Sounds First Artist of the Month this May. Great idea, right? So ….. Lets Get To It!
Timothy’s Favorite: Little Boy (5 stars): In my opinion, Little Boy is a great example of Sommer’s strength as an artist. She is very talented at turning a country song into something that is encouraging and still clearly Christian is orientation. The message is uplifting, and I would imagine it connects with a good sized audience of Christians who have grown in the faith despite the support of our closest loved ones. To be honest, I may only given this song a 4 if the message did not have some personal value. Either way, this is a song you need to hear. (Track 9)
Working on Me (4 stars): Another song that has a foot in both the CCM and Modern Country worlds is the seventh tune. Much of this project is connected to Sommer’s testimony, and Working on Me could be an anthem for many of us. It’s always nice to have a song that shares the heart of the writer. (Track 7)
There are a good number of songs on this album that are middle of the road tunes that anyone could enjoy, like Ray of Light, Children of God, and He is Good. However, this is also a strength as this is her first project. If she can repeat this sound and keep developing her other abilities, she will start gaining some recognition. However, there is one song that I would think points to an area of consideration or growth.
Let it Rain (2 Stars): I like the message Sommer brings in this song, and the music is just as good as the rest of the project. However, what this song does that I think will draw attention away from her ability is that it a bit too cliche. This is one of the reasons some of us steer away from County music to start with, and when you combine that with a healthy dose of Christianese, it turns off a good number of listeners to even the most relevant messages.
The first line, “lifting up my hands, gonna let it rain,” is telegraphing to any experienced CCM listener that a blessings tune is coming, and to the unchurched, the notion of blessings in one of those topics of contention. In topics like this, I think a direct approach is better since Christians take God’s blessings as a given and the lost take God’s blessings as something between a myth and something they aren’t getting from God. Let me conclude by saying that this critique only comes from a perspective of wanting a Christian Artist to continually consider the mind of the lost. As a song of edification to believers, this song would rank as a three star song with much of her other songs. (Track 8)
The first album of an aspiring artist is the way they introduce their talent to listeners like you and me. This album is a very strong hello. I would say that Ellie Holcomb has already opened up the CCM world for true country/christian music, and Sommer has every bit of ability to keep pace with her. Another Ellie Holcomb comparison comes from the naturally distinct sounds they both have. While I am not a country fan, Sommer has given me a reason to pay attention, and I look forward to seeing what else God has in store for this budding musician. Thanks for readin’. – Timothy
Join me in supporting Sommer Floyd by buying her album, Ray of Light.