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First impressions on upcoming Releases (Part 2)

Two other pre-release albums that were added to my "listen right away" list have come across my way recently. Read on to read my first thoughts as I took these records for a spin.


Love (7 Spin Music)
Release date: February 26, 2008

With the sophomore release from Inhabited, the female-fronted rock band leaves Fervent Records and enters the 7 Spin Music fold. I enjoy the female voice when it is lending lead voice to a band. I remember being excited when the first release, The Revolution, came across my path. Until I had a listen. The perhaps too polished radio-friendly not enough rock music lacked enough depth to make it into regular rotation. Though I liked enough songs to keep the record in my collection.

I have always liked what 7 Spin Music puts forth. And I read that Monroe Jones (Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Third Day) was at the producer helm. So I was eager to give Love a spin. Maturity, experience, and a different record label mixed together may prove to move Inhabited to a new level.

The first thing I caught was musical diversity. The songs are less cookie-cutter than I remember from the debut release. The variety helps me to know when the song has moved to the next track. Not surprisingly, the message in the songs is generally geared toward issues and experiences of youth.

Overall I suppose I might want a bit more depth and diversity, and less pop and more rock, but perhaps that will come with time. In the meantime, I'll probably keep this album on hand to share with my youth group kids.

Jaci Velasquez

Love Out Loud (A'Postrophe Records)
Release date: March 18, 2008

This one came in as a surprise. Other than starting A'Postrophe Records a few years back and the news she had married Salvador frontman Nic Gonzales, I had not heard much about Jaci in recent years.

The female pop genre is not on the top of my listening list. Yet the fact that I did not skip through songs must mean something. I was perhaps surprised with the maturity of Jaci's voice. Maybe is it a bit more raw and less polished than I remember, which is always acceptable in my book. To be honest, if I had heard some of the songs on the radio, I may have not known right away that it was Jaci Velasquez. Once you listen closely, though, it becomes obvious.

My favorite song is the Latin flavor, "Tango", a different sort of love song with a fun beat. Nic Gonzales joins in on "Por Escrito", a Spanish duet. Here is where I knew for sure that Jaci was behind the voice.

Her voice is not the only thing that has matured. Lyrically, she includes co-written songs of worship, songs about God, and songs about life experiences on Live Out Loud, produced by Mark Heimermann, who took the same credit on the first three albums.

The record is still not raw nor is it rock enough to join my regular rotation, but my reaction to the music was much more positive than I had expected. The 13th release for this Latin/Pop singer will likely be welcome in the music collection of her old fans. And perhaps some new listeners may join in as well.