Bryce Avary, the one-man-band behind The Rocket Summer, is back with a fresh batch of tunes sure to challenge, inspire, and cause listeners to dance in front of their bedroom mirrors. Not one to label his music "Christian" or "secular," Avary's latest offering, Do You Feel will no doubt connect with listeners across the board.
Do You Feel begins with the bright, bubbly, "Break it Out." It is the type of infectious pop song one has come to expect from The Rocket Summer, and it gets the album off to a great start. "So Much Love," the second track, follows suit and is a celebration of love. Avary smartly utilizes instruments such as the saxophone and keys to make his music shine. Although musically upbeat, "Do You Feel" takes a more serious route and is a biting commentary on Christians having compassion on others. The great thing about The Rocket Summer is Avary's ability to infuse a song with serious content while making listeners bob their heads and tap their feet. The next track, "Save Me," is a passionate cry to God and one of the most worshipful tracks on the album. "All of Me" follows, acknowledging the shared pain of mankind. "High Life Scene" returns to the fun found at the beginning of the album while still making an observation about people who adhere to certain "scenes." "A Song is Not a Business Plan" is a promise from Avary not to lose his identity in order to sell records like so many artists have done. "Taken Aback" could easily be a page from a diary and is about missing someone who was once a friend. "Colors" is a love song probably written for Avary's wife while the next track, "Run to You" is a slower, beautiful piano tune about God's forgiveness and our inability to keep from sinning, and ultimately my favorite on the album. Avary observes, "All of these things that I have done. And you'll take me back, I don't know why. I want to say I'll never do it again, but I can't, but I will try." "Hold it Up" is a lighter, upbeat song about holding on to good memories. "Waiting" is another cheerful song about truly living. Do You Feel ends with the heartfelt, "So in This Hour." The longest song on the album, "So in This Hour" is about giving one's life to God. Avary sings, "So in this hour, everything I do will be all for this moment. Everything's for you. My heart is open and will end, so take it."
Bryce Avary's The Rocket Summer is innovative, sincere, and highly addictive. Do You Feel follows the same path as previous The Rocket Summer albums while still standing on its own. Avary's songwriting has matured, and whether he is singing about Jesus, his wife, or the music industry, he does so with conviction that is rare in the industry, Christian or otherwise. Those looking for smart pop that dares to be different should look no further than The Rocket Summer.- Review date: 7/25/07, written by Laura Nunnery
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