Artist: Tyrus Morgan
Title: Straight Line
Label: Sycamore Sound

Don’t let the album’s rather straightforward moniker fool ya. While it may be titled Straight Line, singer/songwriter Tryus Morgan’s music is anything but Christian pop per usual.

To wit, Straight Line is actually a reminder of what happens when people of faith feel free to paint outside the lines. Like Switchfoot, Mat Kearney and Owl City before him, Morgan marries a strong musical sensibility (just listen and try to get these songs out of your head, and you’ll know what I mean) with thoughtful reflections on life as he sees it.

No, these songs aren’t overly preachy or written with proselytizing as the endgame. Rather, songs like “Something to Believe In,” “Against the Grain” and “Can’t Stop Singing” are hopeful, upbeat reflections of the entire life experience.

Given his clever turns of phrase and intriguing wordplay, It’s really no surprise that Morgan used to write songs for some of the Christian music industry’s elite. But as good as those tracks probably were, it’s clear he’s really having fun working on his own material because there’s such a joyous feeling about Straight Line from start to finish.

What’s particularly stunning about Straight Line, too, is that Morgan is a true original, a rarity in our sound-a-like Top-40 culture. His rich voice not only doesn’t sound like anyone else’s on the radio, but the poppy arrangements even have their own decidedly homespun flair, too. Truth be told, it’s an album that makes you feel good, the perfect soundtrack for a sunny day.

Only adding to the overall pleasure of listening is that there’s plenty of substance to go with the style. Whether he’s singing about the person who loves him for more than surface qualities in “Love of My Soul” or giving thanks for the abundance of blessings in his life, there’s more than just catchy chords that satisfies. And that’s what makes Straight Line such a knockout and one of the best albums of 2012.

*This Article Published 10/15/2012