Could it be that simple … that the cross can save us all?

The River
Artist: Feliz, Jordan
Label: Centricity Music
Length: 11 tracks/36 minutes

The first sounds from The River by Jordan Feliz are a needle dropping on vinyl followed by the crackle often heard on a record. The pure tones of an acoustic guitar then launch into a blues melody. It’s like listening to an old classic. What a start for lovers of vinyl and/or the blues!

This 59 second intro to “The River,” the first single, serves as a stark contrast to a contemporary R&B/pop sound featuring prominent hand claps on a driving rhythm.

The forceful singing is a call to faith. This river is the water of life, found in Christ.

Next up, the second and current single, “Never Too Far Gone.” It’s a worthy followup with an equally captivating rhythm, and again, a message of hope that can apply to anyone.

Perhaps “Simple” could be a future single, one of the finest tracks found here. A playful melody serves as the background for basic questions with profound implications:

Could it be that simple, that you love me and that’s it
And we only need little, a little bit of faith that’s heaven sent

The latter part of the chorus points toward the revelation that this world so desperately needs:

Don’t want my pride to get in the way, of the love that you give away
Give me you, Give me truth, that the cross can save us all it’s really that

The clarity is refreshing; the music compelling. 

If the latter is more elemental on the stanzas of these songs, it highlights the expansiveness on the choruses. It may not be anything new, but I like how full and grand these punchlines sound. It’s along the lines of “Paradise” by Coldplay; the verses a little subdued followed by a majestic chorus. Though pop oriented, R&B is in the mix.

This is one of the things that intrigues me about contemporary music. You hear sounds that were unimaginable years ago. I’m fascinated by the synthesis of the manufactured and organic. One moment you hear something bewildering; the next, the strumming of a guitar or a piano.

Occasionally, you get heavy industrial synths, but it merely serves as the setup for a more satisfying resolve. Overall, the production is top-notch, on par with what you might hear on the radio.

It moves along on a steady clip until the last two tracks where it slows down. It fits the weighty subject matter: constancy and longing. The closing “Satisfied” showcases the raw talent of Feliz.

This is a solid debut. Expect to hear more.

Michael Dalton