Album Review :
Jordan Critz - Nightlights and Melted Ice

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Artist: Jordan Critz
Album: Nightlights and Melted Ice
Label: None (released independently)
Release Date: July 27, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Somehow
2. Fade Away
3. Leading Me
4. Cold Sunshine
5. Gravity
6. Off My Mind
7. Take It Back
8. Run Too Far
9. The Line
10. Every Moment
11. Brand New Day
12. Begin Again
13. Until We Meet Again

“Nightlines and Melted Ice is a symbolism of hope in the dark; of taking steps on faith and the hope of new life after the winter has come to an end,” explains the insert booklet. Offering a modern pop/rock sound to go along with this symbolism, Jordan Critz delivers this 13 song debut that shows experienced musicianship and intelligent melodies. The opening track, “Somehow,” brings an upbeat and, well, hopeful feel that gives the listener a pretty good idea of what to expect from the rest of the record. But this does not mean it’s all the same. “Cold Sunshine” mostly uses moderately distorted electric guitars for a more rocking sound, while “The Line” uses a little piano, softer vocals, and a slower tempo for a more mellow, almost ballad-esque track before the more passionate climax is reached. The music, and on some level Jordan’s voice, reminds me of Jeff Deyo, but there is one major difference between these two men. Jordan’s music is not “worship music.” He fits in more easily with bands like Leeland, Sanctus Real, or Mainstay. It’s definitely Christian, as shown in the lyrics of “Leading Me” which talk about the mystery and wonder of following a God that is sometimes so hard to see, but a lot of it could just as easily show up on mainstream radio with a more generalized positive message. This is not to say the spiritual content is at all watered down, only that it isn’t so blatantly Christian as to be limited to the Christian market only. Blends of acoustic and electric guitars along with steady drumbeats and occasional strings or other minor additions display a sound that is well polished in the studio, which is a good trait considering this record was not only self-released but also self-produced.

7/10

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