Everyone loses their way in life. Everyone loses hope. Everyone falls. Most of us, thankfully, dust ourselves off and rise up to greet life again. The ways we’re able to do this are as varied as the human race itself. For Bryan Jones, the artist behind the musical project Picnic in the Meadow, his reason is Jesus, and he leaves no room for doubt about this. While his brand new album “Livin’ in Me”, to be fair, is as genre-specific and ideologically unchallenging as possible, if your musical preferences tend to lean towards Christian country music, chances are you’ll love this release. It has everything that Christian music fans typically look for, and it also has a story. Proceeds from the album will go towards a Christian ministry called Hope’s Promise (www.hopespromise.org), an organization that provides care and shelter to children in need, specifically children suffering from the AIDS virus in Kenya.
Let’s move on to the songs themselves. The vocals are charismatic and with perfect pitch to boot. Professional vocalists Ron Wallace, Rachel Williams, Ronnie Kimball and Tim Buppert were recruited to make sure the quality was top notch. The album opens with the title track “Livin’ in Me” and it’s a strong start, with good production value and musicianship setting the tone for a professional release. Once the follow up track “Burn” starts, however, you realize that things were just getting warmed up. Tim Buppert’s vocal really shines here. “Burn” could easily catch on fast in religious circles, and there’s no reason not to believe it would become an anthem of sorts. Darker shades color the guitar tones and the mood is serious. On “New Every Morning”, we hear Rachel Williams’s vocals that are charismatic as well, and the album begins to break through its chosen genre. Anyone with the right attitude could enjoy it.
From the tear jerker ballad and well done duet “Dance with Me” to the inspired “You are Holy”, “Livin in’ Me” plays out like the ultimate mainstream Christian release. “Burn” and “Be Like You” were chosen as finalists in the Christian category of the International UK song writing competition, and it’s surprising that they didn’t win.
Is Bryan Jones a talented artist? Yes, very much so. Is he a niche artist? Yes, very much so. Whether you will enjoy this album depends on your deeply seeded beliefs, as the passion does not always break through the barriers that divide us like some religious performances do. Bryan Jones’s Picnic in the Meadow is content to preach to the choir, and from an outside perspective, I can say the choir will love what they hear. To support Picnic in the Meadow’s cause and buy an album, visit
Bryan’s official website at http://www.picnicinthemeadowmusic.com/
By: James – firstname.lastname@example.org[Rating: 4/5]