Release Date: November 12th 2014
Reviewed by Joshua Andre
- Universe Electric
- Lost In The Sound
- This Is The Life
“…My hope when I was done with Idol was to get signed and for things to move quickly and easy, but that’s not what happened. And I’m glad it’s not what happened. At the time, it was a huge blessing in disguise because it got to the point [where] there was a label that was interested and there were a few different routes I could have taken … but every single way, I didn’t have complete control of my brand and my music…” Finishing at 3rd place in the 2013 edition of American Idol, judges, media personalities, critics and listeners alike were stunned and surprised that Angie Miller didn’t reach the final. Many viewers of the talent show were baffled at Angie’s sudden exit from a show that has propelled the careers of many artists like Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Danny Gokey, Mandisa, Jason Castro, Daughtry and Kris Allen. However the end result of Angie not being signed has been a more mature sound and more honest, personal lyrics. With the hit single “You Set Me Free” and a Christmas EP being released on iTunes in 2013 to glowing reviews; the follow-up release Weathered released a couple of days ago. Is this EP worth the wait, and worth fans contributing and backing the project on PledgeMusic? Well let’s dive into the pop songstress’ tunes, and be inspired and blessed by the though provoking and comforting melodies!
Opening the track list is the pop/electronic/dance melody “Universe Electric”, led by emphatic and commanding keys. Thematically speaking how we are not alone in this world, Jesus’ name isn’t used, however the inference is made that there is something bigger than ourselves giving us purpose and meaning. Starting off as a big and epic pop anthem, complete with gang vocals, Angie reminds us to wake up and live the life that we were meant to live, as we are proactive in engaging in our passions and finding out what we were made to do in this world. The tag in the chorus reminding us that we are not alone, acknowledges that our purpose and passion comes from somewhere else, and Angie authoritatively inspires us to actively pursue this notion, and it’s implied we do so until we find God. What a brilliant encouraging song with plenty of imagery to make us think about what we were made on this earth to do.
As with the first song, Angie continues to shake the status quo, by challenging us thematically and lyrically about what it means to truly live this life, in the rest of the EP. “Miles” is an emotional, personal electric guitar led rock melody, as Angie opens and bares her soul, highlighting the gruelling journey of being a music artist, and the setbacks that make her grow as a person, as they build her character. As she declares that ‘…I’m miles from what’s in front of me, feels like I’m chasing the road beneath my feet…’, it seems like success can be fleeting, and sometimes what you want in this world is unattainable, like success in Angie’s music career when no label pursued her. However this song, and entire album as well, is a testimony that God works in mysterious ways, and inspires us to chase our dreams, as God is continually working in our lives.
The electronic dance/remix-y piano led mysterious and haunting melody “Simple” shows us that we are more than just a number, than just people walking on this earth, that we are created for a purpose by God, that the answer to all of our questions are staring at us in our face, that it’s so simple; while the lead single “Lost In The Sound”, led by explosive piano and guitar, is probably the most vulnerable song on the album. As Angie sings about doubt and feelings of inadequacy, and what she does to combat that feeling, she highlights the fact that she turns ‘…the music up louder, drown the noise, stay there for hours, lost in the sound, turn it up louder, shaking the ground, no one else out here, lost in the sound…’– the sound being an allegory for Jesus’ presence, and indirectly encourages us to do bask in God’s love and presence as well.
“This is Your Life” (nope, not the Switchfoot song), is where Angie puts her Britt Nicole hat vocally, and sings about living for the moment, and taking what we’ve got with both hands, and running with it. Never looking back, Angie sings passionately about not allowing anyone else to change our identity, but rather make our own decisions ourselves as we move forward and forge our own future. Though not a Christian song, this track full of layers, takes us deep into the human psyche, and is a fitting penultimate song, as it also speaks about Angie’s decision to be an indie artist. The album ender “Weathered” is the 2 minute pop/rock piece, with simplistic lyrics and a strong musical presence, as Angie fervently asks God ‘…where are You, I need You, I’m crying, I’m crying, where are You, cause I need You, I cry out, I cry out…’. Which such vulnerable emotion and a real faith for Jesus shown in her lyrics, even though it’s not that evident at first glance, I am positive that Angie Miller will be a force to be reckoned with as an artist in the coming years, in both the Christian and mainstream markets.
“…With this EP, I wanted to take it to the next level. I want everything I sing about to be honest. Each song is a moment in my life and a certain stage in the past two years — the good times, the bad times, the stress, growing up and learning from mistakes and what I’d see happen around me. Something really important to me is lyrics, and I always want to be a writer on every single one of my songs, even in the future. I want these songs to be my voice and my story and to be honest…” Though Angie Miller has not had the success that she initially wanted, and has not signed to a record label, this thought provoking EP Weathered shows Angie at her brilliant best and paints a bright picture for the rest of her singer/songwriter career. If you haven’t listened to this EP, I suggest that you do, as it’s one of the most pleasant surprises of the year! Reminding me of Kerrie Roberts and Plumb vocally, this short but sweet EP is sure to impact and encourage many! Well done Angie, I look forward whatever you release next!
3 songs to listen to: Universe Electric, Miles, Lost In The Sound
RIYL: Kerrie Roberts, Britt Nicole, Kelly Clarkson, Plumb, Superchick