STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 171135-26941 LABEL: Dream FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Joel's third release for Dream Records, this five-track EP sees the Amarillo, Texas-based singer, songwriter and producer continue to get into his dance pop stride with a collection of radio friendly faith-tinged tracks. Right from the opening chords of the anthemic "Pray It Up", it's clear that this is going to be a polished affair and each track goes on to showcase the singer's perfect pop voice and EDM-savvy production skills. Whilst never hiding the underlying Christian theme of his songs, Vaughn makes sure he doesn't get too deep or heavy with the likes of the impassioned "Back Where I Started" communicating the desire for a second chance in a way that could interchangeably be about God or a love interest which will obviously result in a greater chance of mainstream airplay. Elsewhere, "Settle" is a song of resolve to follow God without mentioning the maker whilst the optimistic song of defiance "Joy" maintains more or less the same approach to good effect. Vaughn's voice and material does sound like the myriad of similar chart fodder out there at the moment but this is an undeniably accomplished offering from a talented all-rounder.
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