Rocket Summer's 'Of Men and Angels' an uplifting album


Most everybody needs somebody to help them make an album, whether it's writing the songs, playing the instruments or producing the record.

However, Bryce Avary, otherwise known as the happy, feel-good act The Rocket Summer, is a multitasking master, doing all three jobs himself.

Normally, The Rocket Summer's buoyant, poppy, dance tunes make people get out of their seats and jump around all night.

However, the one-man band's latest record, "Of Men and Angels" brings home a different sound -- one of mellow redemption, uplifting struggle and inspiration.

The first single, "Walls," is stirring and hopeful.

With a strong piano opening and lyrics such as, "Believe me, you are not alone/I will help you break the walls down," the song is like a beacon of light in the dark.

The high-powered guitar tune "You Gotta Believe" is a teenage angst anthem dedicated to anyone who tries to stand in your way in life.

"Sir, excuse my rudeness," Avary sings, "but I believe that I know something you don't because you are talking down to me like you think I know nothing/And I won't allow it, this pompous prowess."

The title track reaches out to Avary's Christian roots and criticizes many artists in today's music business. "Here I am dear Lord, tasting hints of fame, and I don't want it anymore if it's not you that I gain," he coos.

One of the most striking songs on the record is "Nothing Matters," a proclamation to the masses that the only thing that matters is love.

Avary also confronts his record company on this track, which believes the public does not want to hear Christian ideals in his music.

"I know it's not too sexy that I'm singing about the blessings we get/Nothing matters but what we offer in love," Avary notes during the song.

While most of the material is positive and upbeat here, there is one song that doesn't seem to fit in -- "Japanese Exchange Student."

Avary compares his B-list status to that of an exchange student everybody wants to know just because he's here, but once the novelty wears off, no one pays attention anymore.

"But then the thrill wears off and I'm alone," Avary sings. "Until Paul McCartney rolls through town and they think I can get them in on the guest list."

Overall, Avary stays true to himself on "Angels," bringing the same amount of mirth-infused pop tunes.

While the optimistic songs still provide a good-driving-in-your-car-in-summer soundtrack, the insightful lyrics make for an uplifting soundtrack to listen to anytime you need to get out of a rut.

 

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