Prime Cuts: Pages, My Shelter, Black Canvas
Overall Grade: 2.5/5
The future may be uncertain and filled with serendipitous twists and turns, but this is not so with Jordan Feliz's "Future." This album is the poster child of CCM music today. Every element integral to what constitutes a radio hit today is represented here on each and every of the 10 cuts here. Put it another way, every song here is tailored made for CCM radio. And there are blatantly no surprises here. This is not necessarily a bad thing as this album will continue Feliz's rule of the charts inaugurated by his 2015 #1 single "The River." But if the titular is the direction of Feliz's goal for this record, one needs to ask: Will anyone be singing to these songs in 20 years' time? The answer leans towards the negative. Though many of these songs are made for the here and now, they don't have the melodic hook strong enough to warrant the passing of time.
Before we give support to such a prophetic judgment call, a word needs to be said about Feliz. Felix is one of the recent success stories of CCM. Formerly the lead singer of A Current Affair, Feliz started his career in rock music. However, in the year 2015, Feliz decided to transplant himself into Nashville where he started his own solo career in CCM. After an EP and an album, Feliz has had 5 top 40 CCM hits under his belt.
"Future" is Feliz's second solo record and it has sadly fallen into the proverbial sophomore slum. The album cover looks promising. Featuring a dashing Feliz donned in a hat (that looks like one a cowboy would wear), one would hope Feliz's migration into Nashville would have integrated his use of scintillating stories (so prevalent in country music) into his songs. But what we get here are examples of Feliz riding upon cliche after cliche. Case in point being the creatively entitled "Faith;" a song built on the sandcastle of triteness: There is no ocean that can't be parted/There is no mountain that can't be moved/I know there's help for the heavy-hearted/The weak will find their strength renewed.
Standing in front of a neon light on the album front, one would have hoped Feliz would have incorporated some neo-disco or rockabilly elements into his brand of pop to stir up some identification. But what you get are 10 pop songs that fall into the same accelerated tempo with the same clap electronic drums used across the whole canon. Could Feliz at least have mixed the tempo a bit? Does every song have to begin the same way? Can't there be some variation in the drum patterning? With the use of the same progression and tempo, listening to these 10 cuts back to back can be quite a tedious chore.
Also, the lead single "Witness" irritatingly uses the line so prevalent in popular parlance these days: "can I get a witness?" Haven't we got enough of that phrase from Marvin Gaye's hit single "Can I Get a Witness?" Do we really need a CCM version of this phrase wrapped under the guise of a new song?