by Peter Fleck
Love & The Outcome
These Are The Days
Embarking on a six-city Alberta tour in March, Love & The Outcome arrives with their latest CD, These Are The Days, nominated for a Juno Award.
Fronted by lead singer Jodi King and her husband/bass player Chris Rademaker, the duo originating from Manitoba exude a vibrancy, joy and love for each other on stage that’s truly infectious.
Now living in Nashville, and signed to the major Word Entertainment label, the couple co-write all of their own songs mostly in collaboration with their producers and a few other writers.
Like Love & The Outcome’s 2013 self-titled debut, the latest project is packed with radio-friendly pop tunes. From the current disc, “The God I Know” peaked at number two on the Canadian Christian radio charts, while “If I Don’t Have You” reached eighth spot, and “Louder Closer Deeper” is just being released as a single.
But the hit potential is far from exhausted. Songs like “Strangers” and “Palaces” are crying out to be heard by a wider audience. And “These Are The Days” could prove to be a concert favorite.
With strong vocals, catchy tunes, engaging lyrics and expert production, Christian pop fans are offered the full package.
The Alberta tour begins in Edmonton on March 9. Other dates include Red Deer on March 15, Calgary on March 16 & 17, and Medicine Hat on March 18.
Michael W. Smith
A Million Lights
It’s been 35 years since Michael W. Smith released his debut record. After three Grammys, 45 Dove Awards, 32 number-one hits and album sales in excess of 18 million, he’s got nothing left to prove.
But this February sees Smith release two new full-length CDs, beginning with his new pop album, A Million Lights, followed by a live worship project.
So what keeps him going? “I think this is what I’m made for. We’re all made to do something extraordinary and I still love what I do. I still think my best work is yet to come, and at 60 years of age, I can’t believe I’m even saying that,” he tells USA Today.
To Billboard, he relates, “The new music had a lot to do with the collision of both grieving for my dad, who died, followed by how divided our country was becoming along with the onslaught of mean-spirited social media, kids committing suicide, seeing the opioid drug epidemic in my hometown. Before all this happened, I hadn’t written anything in a long time, but the dam just burst.”
There was certainly no lack of material to prime the pump. Working in collaboration with other songwriters, Smith began with about 75 song ideas and eventually narrowed it down to the final 13 tracks.
He surrounded himself with a younger pool of co-writers including producers Bryan Todd, Kyle Lee and Paul Moak, but also has collaborations with older friends Wayne Kirkpatrick, Wes King and Cindy Morgan.
A mostly upbeat project aimed at promoting hope, Smith shares with USA Today that his desire is to see listeners “reconnect with why they are here.”
Smitty certainly proves with this latest effort that he still has much to offer.