STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 160839-23812 LABEL: Dream FORMAT: CD Mini-album RELEASE DATE: 2016-04-22
Reviewed by Paul Ewbank
Singer/songwriter Joel Vaughn has been in the worship leading game for 11 years and has released several albums of worship from his hometown of Amarillo, Texas. His latest release shows a different side to the young musician, moving towards a contemporary pop sound akin to One Direction while keeping one foot firmly in the world of modern worship he clearly knows so well. Throughout 'Kinetic' Vaughn's greatest asset is his voice - his charismatic, easygoing croon sounds tailor-made for this style of music and helps keep the music engaging even when the songs themselves border on the forgettable. His sugary multi-tracked harmonies on EDM gem "Wide Awake" rise above the rush of sparkling synths and pulsing beat to create a simple, winning tune. "March On" displays a slightly rougher, grittier sound reminiscent of Bastille, and its slower tempo and world-weary lyrics make for a welcome contrast. Elsewhere Vaughn's musical vocabulary feels rather dated; "Truth About Me" plays like an unconvincing Will Young pastiche and the piano ballad "Far Away"- beautiful though it is - wouldn't feel out of place on any of Tim Hughes' albums from the past 15 years. While Vaughn's musical reference points may not always be cutting edge his lyrics have a timeless appeal. Every line and beautifully crafted phrase on 'Kinetic' glows with a sincere love of singing God's praises.
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