The Bottom Line
- Full of passion, energy, and talent
- Message very well delivered
- His emotive powers enable him to connect with his listeners in a compelling way
- A bit over-produced
- Tends to be a bit of sameness in the instrumentation throughout
- Style: R & B/Pop
- 12 songs
- Released March 23, 2004
Guide Review - RJ Helton - 'Real Life'
The opener is my favorite, "Even If", bursting out of the box full of truth and passion. The Latin-flavored R&B tune is worth the price of the CD alone. It is followed by another strong tune, "My Devotion", a very contemporary sound with a break-in by rapper CZ and some hot trumpet by George Tidwell. "Love Song" beautifully portrays the greatest commandment, as the bridge proclaims to love God "with my heart, with my soul, with my strength, with my mind, with my life". This song, like most, is heavily flavored with rich Spanish strings and RJ's passionate voice is achingly sweet in the pop ballad.
One of the most interesting is "Delicate", a dramatic tune dealing with child abuse. Helton's intensity might lead you to believe that this song is autobiographical. If so, he will prove to be very helpful to other survivors, as both he and the song brim over with triumph through the pain. RJ Helton may have missed being crowned on "American Idol" but it seems very clear that a more significant crown may be his. Every heart will find something to touch them in this positive music.
Kevan Breitinger can be reached at Wordsmith4J@aol.com.