Tray Michaels

Reckless Abandon

Reckless Abandon  by Tray Michaels
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For fans of:Jeremy Camp, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Third Day
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Review of "Reckless Abandon" by, New Release Today. Full of Love, Soul and Rock & Roll.

He's a dad, a husband, a worship pastor at an inner city church, and--oh yes--a recording artist. It's these different environments where Portland, Oregon's Tray Michaels percolates the ideas, songs and themes that make up his long-awaited new EP, Reckless Abandon.Produced by Brandon Bee, this project presents five edgy-yet-worshipful, familiar-yet-fresh sounding praise tunes that walk the line between arena-ready anthems and Sunday morning staples. This project has to be approached from the intended perspective as a worship EP. Michaels--the worship pastor at Revolution Church in East Portland--plays these songs during weekend services, and the diverse congregation responds passionately. It's not your traditional sounding worship project, but it is somewhat familiar, as overtones of early Jeremy Camp and Jake Hamilton certainly make themselves known. First track "Come On Jesus" goes from reflecting on what Jesus has done and shifts to a cry for Him to "do what You do in my life." It's a catchy, singable refrain and has become somewhat of a motto for Michaels and his church. The guitar leads evoke another era of rock worship, but it's a pleasant memory, and Michaels' vocals (as well as his wife, Ashlee's) augment that atmosphere. The theme of God's love throughout history and in Michaels' life is continued in "Love Like a Hurricane."The more chill "Won't You Come" features a more acoustic approach as Michaels builds into a big chorus inviting Jesus to "come and fill this place as Heaven joins us in singing Your praise." It's probably the most congregational out of the bunch, and features some great, unexpected chord progressions. As a worshipper, Michaels makes use of purposeful space in the midst of these songs for free worship, as he's used to doing on Sunday mornings. The best uses of this space come with instrumental explosions that feature organ, synths and of course, epic lead guitars, courtesy of producer Brandon Bee. Title track "Reckless Abandon" finds a nice balance between the chill worship factor and the rock sensibilities Michaels and Bee bring to the table. Ashlee Ray's angelic harmonies are especially powerful on this song, as the lyrics once again tell of Jesus' love and salvation, and that the appropriate response is "reckless abandon." "Church Cry Out" starts simply enough, with a Southern Rock kind of riff, but eventually explodes into a powerful exhortation to the Bride of Christ: "Church cry out / Let the world hear you shout / Raise your hands and praise the King." It's the kind of worship song that's more in the line of the psalms where it admonishes believers to raise their voices so everyone can hear. Closing Thoughts:Reckless Abandon is an unconventional record from an unconventional worship leader at an unconventional church in an unconventional city. That said, it may take a few listens from some people to really understand the heart and the audience for which this EP is intended. At times, some of the lyrical themes can change unexpectedly, but rather than see that as disjointed or unfocused, it's the outpouring of a grateful heart that has so much to be thankful for. Musically speaking, Brandon Bee and Michaels have put together something that is refreshingly instrument-driven, and reminiscent of a former time while attempting to bring something new to the table. If you're tired of the flavor of the day kind of worship, and are looking for something a little more gritty and edgy and raw--but still worship!--Reckless Abandon by Tray Michaels is the oasis for you.

"Come on Jesus" the first single of his new worship EP "Reckless Abandon" written as a anthem and deceleration of surrender and asking Jesus to do what he has promised in Jeremiah 29:11. Plans to prosper and plans to give you a life and a future. So we say, Come on Jesus do what you do in my life.

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