Whether you're a new Christian, you've been one for years, or don't know the first thing about Christianity, you undoubtedly have questioned God at some point. It's an issue that sometimes gets ignored. This is the reason behind indie pop singer Michelle Ruben's latest EP, Until Tomorrow. She asks questions about her mom's passing and about God's seeming distance. Overall, Ruben's music is very comparable to that of Rebecca St. James. It's very light pop rock with a miniscule amount of electronics worked into it. Vocally, she's somewhere in RSJ's neighborhood as well. To Ruben's credit, she wisely went with a style of music that fits her vocal style instead of attempting something out of her range. However, there are still some negatives I encountered on Until Tomorrow. For instance, her voice does sound a little flat a few times. Another smaller issue is that the first two songs, "Until Tomorrow" and "Be Here," seem a little longer than necessary ("Until Tomorrow" could easily be shortened thirty to forty seconds in the outro, due to its prolonging). The main thing holding the songs back is that Ruben has a tendency to let the songs be guided by the rhyming lyrics instead of what she wants to say. In other words, it feels like the necessity for the songs to rhyme takes precedence over the lyricism, making the songwriting feel very amateur. Of course, there's nothing wrong with songs rhyming, but it's hard to write good lyrics if you insist on finding a word to rhyme with the word "tomorrow."
If you pick up a physical copy of Until Tomorrow, you'll also get a DVD with your EP. The DVD gives some insight into the songs "Until Tomorrow" (about Ruben's mother) and "Be Here" (about wanting God's presence). It also shows some behind-the-scenes photo shoot footage, but that's about it. The DVD totals about four minutes in length. It might be cool to have as a collector's item if Ruben gets signed to a national label (which I could picture happening), but otherwise it doesn't offer much. The EP, though, certainly isn't bad for a beginner, and fans of RSJ or Jennifer Knapp may enjoy it.
- Review date: 11/8/10, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com