Listen Up! — May 2017

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Artist: Hollyn
Album: One-Way Conversations
2/5 Stars

Holly Marie Miller, better known as Hollyn, is from Waverly, Ohio and began her career with a 2015 EP on Gotee Records. She primarily sings pop and R&B, and could be likened to Britt Nicole. One-Way Conversations has several good tracks, such as “Can’t Live Without” which deals with our relationship with God and how we long to feel His presence and love in our lives. “In Awe,” which is by far my favorite track, asks how God could lavish us with such undeserved and unlimited love. It could easily be used in a worship service and provides contrast with the predominant dance feel of the album. Despite having a few gems, the album falls pretty flat. Many songs sound like just another pop song, while “The Hills” pretty much only features her and feels juvenile. Hollyn should have a bright future, but this album is lackluster at best.

Band: Less Than Jake
Song: “Whatever the Weather”
5/5 Stars

Less Than Jake formed in Gainesville, Florida in 1992 and has been a staple of the ska-punk scene for decades. “Whatever the Weather” from their Sound the Alarm EP showcases their lighter side, both sonically and lyrically, as well as some versatility. The track’s mix is near perfect, allowing for the horns to cut through the instrumentation and blend with both of the vocalists. The chorus begins with “It’s out of my hands, these too heavy times” and ends with “No matter the weather, I’ll never waver.” This reminds me of Hebrews 10:23 which says “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” If we hold on to Jesus and trust God with everything, it doesn’t matter what comes our way. If you’re not familiar with ska, this is a good song to get your foot in the door.

Caleb Trimmer