Artist:  Jake Smith   
Title:  Real
Label:  Rocketown

Arriving on the music scene fresh out of New Orleans, Jake Smith could not have chosen a better title for his debut album. From the funky, Jason Mraz-like opener, “Get Up,” it is clear that Smith has found a niche in the Christian community with to-the-point lyrics and groove-based pop on Real.

The depth of his authenticity is defined, in part, by the last two years of his life in which he’s survived Hurricane Katrina, had to deal with two parents being diagnosed with cancer and also been hit by a drunk driver. Instead of letting those trials keep him down, he has turned them into hope and optimism, which he shares with listeners on his album.

The first single, “This is Certain,” is a catchy pop track, while Smith’s jazzy, blues side can be seen on “What I Plan to Do.” One of the strongest tracks on the album, “These Things,” has a lounge-soul vibe reminiscent of Dave Barnes or Mat Kearney. Listeners get a taste of his piano chops on “Real Love,” with a style similar to English artist Jamie Cullum, and the use of the organ on “Can’t Save Your Soul” drives the album home.

Rising above the typical singer/ songwriter pack, Jake Smith shines on his debut album and proves that it’s best to keep it real. 

© 2007 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.   Click here to try a free issue.