Country music is in a great place. Even more so, it’s in an interesting place.
When it comes to the music, the most saturated subset would be the solo male artists. There’s a lot of them and more coming – to stand out, you really have to have the ‘it’ factor.
Michael Ray has ‘it.’
If you never heard a Michael Ray song, never heard of him as an artist, and simply looked at him, you’d probably think here comes an album loaded with party anthems. Man, would you be wrong. Ray’s self-titled debut album is polished, unique, and loaded with amazing vocals. It relies more on lyrical sharpness and emotion than it does heavy beats. Crazy, right? I haven’t been this impressed with a debut album in years.
Michael just had his first single, ‘Kiss You In The Morning,’ go #1, the album’s first track. From there, the album zigs and zags from rockers like ‘Another Girl’ to lyrically brilliant ballads like ‘Everything In Between.’ I can’t emphasize the greatness of Ray’s voice enough; he truly shines on the album’s slower tracks like ‘Wish I Was Here’ and ‘Real Men Love Jesus’ – Michael Ray will be nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year in the next couple years. I promise you that.
The brilliance in this album lies with Michael Ray’s ability to be fresh, but also traditional when it matters most. The honesty of this album is a rarity these days where new artists may be inclined to try to sound like someone they’re not.
As I was out and about in Chicago for a few hours, biking, at the office, at the beach, I probably listened to the album four times. I never skipped a track, and I wore the hell out of ‘Look Like This.’ This album cements Michael Ray as a superstar in the making. It’s only a matter of time.