Prime Cuts: Stars in My Sky, Jesus is Coming Back, Glorify
Overall Grade: 3.5/5
Jordan Feliz's amalgam of folk and pop-based CCM has struck a chord with fans and radio alike. Having a slight ruggedness often bereft in CCM and yet possessing the polished hooks making his music assessable, Feliz is one of the latest success stories in the genre. With top 10 hits such as "The River," "Witness" and "Faith," Feliz has the opportunity to bring his message of faith to a new generation with verve and virtuoso. "Say It" is Feliz's fourth album and his first in two years. Thus far, the album has well-saved by "Glorify" and "Wounds," both of which have blazed their way onto the upper tier of the charts. "Say It" finds Feliz working with Jordan Mohilowski and Feliz's longtime collaborator Colby Wedgeworth and it features 10 newly crafted tracks.
If you like his previous pop-folk endeavours, you will love "Jesus is Coming Back" and "Glorify." Though both cuts possess Feliz's signature hooks, the R&B shuffle and the Gospel-choir backings give character and identity to the songs. With a lacuna of songs dealing with the second coming of Jesus, "Jesus is Coming Back" is a much welcomed entry as it deals with how the second advent impacts our lives now and into eternity. The skittering electronic drums and the echo-vocal reverbs make God's creation come alive in the celebratory "Stars in My Sky." Of note is that many of the uptempo songs clock under the 3-minute mark, making them sound punchy without lingering longer than they need to be. Such a case in point is the pop-centric "Next to Me."
"Wounds" and "When I Say My Prayers" are touted as the nerve center of the record. The latter, for instance, was written by Feliz after a miscarriage he and his wife had years ago. However, as much as Feliz tries, the emotions are just not brought out in the song. Maybe the song hovers around generic lyrics and the mid-tempo percussion beats do not help. "Wounds" is a tad better; but songs that speak of God's use of our wounds in our lives for our sanctification are far too common these days. "Wounds," sadly, doesn't bring anything particularly new to the conversation.
Listen to "Only Love" and "Real Me" back to back and you can hear the template both songs share, even the "woo..." lines are quite identical. This only illustrates the fallacy of many singer-songwriter albums: their songs often gravitate around a blueprint, creating a "sameness" that often pervades through the canon. In this respective, "Say It" isn't exempted. Nevertheless, though there are some formulaic moments, there are also some great ones too.