Local Sound describes itself as a "movement" born from the relentless creativity of the college-aged in the Nashville, Tennessee area. They are a group of male and female musicians and singers who met at ministry MyLocal, and are on a mission to be "culture creators" by making "high energy, innovative music that reaches the world."
"To the King" kicks things off with a gospel groove and the rhythm section taking center stage, along with a major assist from a searing organ and gang vocals. Overall, it produces a huge and joyous sound and is a welcome jolt to begin the tracklisting. "More Than Halfway" continues the funky start with a thick bass line that produces the kind of toe-tapping danceable track you'd expect from Tauren Wells or TobyMac.
Another standout is the bright chime of "Time and Time Again," which is likely the easiest entry point to the group for those previously uninitiated. The rafter-raising vocal "Woah oohs" are tailor-made for the vastness of a room packed with people in full-throated praise. "Through the Night" makes perfect use of a string section by combining it with a simple piano and earnest vocals. The lyrical focus is on the trusted faithfulness of God and it makes for a top-five song of the album. The other ballad that escapes the problem of blandness is the Francesca Battistelli sound of "My Confidence," which has immediate radio-ready accessibility.
"Free Indeed" is also lifted by strings that elevate the song from ho-hum to lesser-highlight. Without it, the song would have faded into the sameness that befalls several of the slower tempo songs on the latter half of the album. "On Christ" leans heavily on "The Solid Rock" for its chorus, with enough of a twist to keep it from bordering on a cover of the tune, although it ultimately lands as forgettable aside from the familiarity with the hymn. "To Be Loved" begins with promise, featuring an acoustic guitar and gentle drum thump, but unfortunately the repetitive chorus wears thin all too quickly.
Lastly, the album ends strongly with "Forevermore," which bears a similarity to the sound of worship contemporaries like Isla Vista and Kings Kaleidoscope -- particularly in the vocal department. This is not a knock; if you are a fan of either, you'll likely gravitate to the tune as one of several to add to your playlist.
All in all, Local Sound is a community-inspired and wide-ranging project with a little bit of something to offer for any fan of the genre. While some of the tracks fell flatter than others, especially in the latter half, I'm certainly on board for the peppier moments that seem to be their current sweet spot and one or two ballads that shone brightest. Ultimately, This is My Local is a worthy addition to the genre, with room for growth on future releases. This one is for fans of eclectic worshipful moments produced by groups like the aforementioned Isla Vista Worship and Kings Kaleidoscope.- Review date: 8/4/22, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Integrity Music
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