Music Review: Tommy Saint – Tommy Saint

One Man In The Middle brings you regular, unbiased and honest reviews of music albums and EPs from Christian artists and musicians in the UK and worldwide. Here we have Tommy Saint by Tommy Saint with an overall review score of 7.3 out of 10.

Album Information:
Tommy Saint is a young American artist from Columbus, Ohio whose passionate love for music exudes in every performance. Using his musical ability and dramatic creativity opened doors for him in stage shows and live performances at an early age. He rapped on his first music project at the age of twelve and started Deejaying professionally when he was eighteen (He was hired after spinning for his own graduation party.)

Tommy has been involved in music of all kinds, including Rock, Hip-Hop and EDM. He was a drummer for his local church for years and sang in the choir. He Deejayed for local Hip-Hop groups and spun his own mixes at parties and events. There was always a desire to entertain audiences on a global scale. Inspired by the storytelling and big hooks of the 80’s pop artists, Tommy began to seek a larger sound with a wider range of musical styles. He started doing studio work as a drummer and competing in band showcases. He produces television, has acted in films, and scored, wrote and produced a live rock drama that ran for six years in Ohio and has toured in multiple states for thousands of fans!

Tommy is passionate about creating pop anthems that are upbeat, empowering, and diverse. Tommy said, “This album is for anyone who has ever felt broken. For everyone who has been denied, held back, ridiculed. Don’t give up! We are the Saints.” His mission is “to spread love as we have been loved.”

Review:

The Dream Label Group were very busy at the end of last year releasing a very eclectic range of albums from newly signed artists including worship bands, soulful pop singers like Meleana and also this debut self-titled album from Tommy Saint. Despite his youth, Tommy has been involved in many aspects of music and a quick check of his Soundcloud page shows his music genesis in the electronic style. He is also a drummer, DJ, and more so it is no surprise that Dream looking for new talent has snapped up Tommy to their label.

“This is the Life”, the first track feels nice, bright and almost summery, despite the fact that the album was released in November last year. It’s got a solid beat, some great stretching vocals and some electro-pop backing that makes this a perfect song for a hot summer day! It’s a positive and simple track about finding freedom. “Spotlight” has a great emphasis on putting someone in the spotlight, it’s catchy with great hooks but it doesn’t identify who it’s turning the spotlight on, it’s all a little bit too generic which is ironic considering the theme of the song. A Christian will know the emphasis should be on Christ, but it seems to undermine it’s own raison d’etre.

“Don’t Let Go” is feel-good dance-pop about grabbing your dreams, but also that others are supporting you too. “Did You Know” is about being aware of God’s presence all around us, still without putting a name on the ‘you’ that is the subject of the track so it is open to the listeners interpretation. “Amen” leaves no room for doubt about what he is singing about as Tommy includes a rap section, it’s probably the strongest Christian lyric on the album, but may be the weakest form and vocal!

“Paradise” gives another great light feel in it’s upbeat nature, with some light touches that elevate this track above some of the others on this album. There are a lot of different vocal elements on this track and if they are all performed by Tommy then it really does show an excellent vocal versatility. “No Turning Back” is another ambiguous track that could be about committing to a project, a relationship again the Christian interpretation would be on our walk with Christ and the changes that we see in our own lives and our development. “Hope Right Now” is an atmospheric and slower number with lots of echo on the vocal giving the strange ambience. This tracks ethereal feeling is because the idea is that this is God showing us assurance of His presence with us, finally it has taken 10 tracks to get here but there is some identification of the one who gives us hope as it talks about the scars in his hands, but this feels a little like, too little, too late.

The album as a whole is musically great, I really enjoy the beats and movements and tweaks, even the vocal styles that keep each song feeling fresh and different from the others around it. The difficulty I have is the ambiguity of the lyrics. Many of them have so many possible meanings that it just needs more identification. There is nothing that distinguishes this as a Christian album on the cover apart from the fact that it is distributed by Dream, yet the lyrics are clearly pointing at something, but the something isn’t mentioned.

I don’t think Jesus has to be mentioned by name in every track, but I didn’t hear any mention of Jesus or God apart from the scars in the hand and knowing where I’m going when I die, so is there enough content in this album to shine the spotlight on Jesus, does it point someone in that direction? It depends on context, just this album alone, no, but with some input on stage from the artist, or being given it by a Christian friend to listen to, then maybe. We mustn’t be afraid that using Jesus name in a track that is not a worship track will put people off. Leaving things to the listener to interpret means that as far as they are concerned you could be singing about anything under the Sun.

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