Sounds like … a cohesive blend of Seal's soulful side with the eclectic rock of Peter Gabriel, the alternative-folk of Ben Harper, and the gritty vocals of Live's Ed Kowalczyk.
At a glance … Wherever You Are is a remarkably ambitious full-length debut from Adam McInnis that's just as versatile in music as it is meaningful in lyrics.
Talk about broad cultural horizons. Born in Manhattan, Adam McInnis grew up the son of a Scottish/African American/American Indian father who was an evangelist and Russian mother who was classically trained as a folk and opera singer. As a child, the New York troubadour listened to everything from Greenwich Village folk to Motor City Motown, as well as a healthy dose of '70s art rock—all channeled into a unique sound that McInnis calls "alternative rock meets singer/songwriter soul."
A believer since birth, McInnis had his faith tested at 15 when his father passed away, followed by a period of teenage rebellion before rededicating his life to the Lord at 20. After setting a new course for his life, the budding artist began looking for opportunities, and several doors opened within the indie music community. His first major break came when winning Joe Simpson's Score songwriting competition, followed by a brief stint on the television show The One: Making a Music Star, beating out 30,000 other up-and-comers.
But McInnis offers much more than the average reality show competitor, as demonstrated on his debut Wherever You Are, boldly presenting an unconventional sound that joins his diverse influences with rich vocals and a crafty songwriting pen. The title cut is bathed in dreamy vocals that mirror Peter Gabriel, blending hefty acoustic guitars with snarling electric strums, plus a message of Christ's ongoing presence in all of Creation. Later he sounds like a cross between Seal and Ben Harper in the flavorful folk rocker "Beautiful Glow," while "Say a Little Prayer" showcases his soulful side over Hammond organ reminiscent of Steve Winwood and Santana/Journey player Gregg Rolie.
McInnis displays even more musical range from there with the funky samples that drive the redemptive "Fall Into Me," the old school gospel groove in "Give a Little," and the stunning piano ballad "Too Much Beauty," which resembles the work of Live's frontman Ed Kowalczyk. The finale "I'm the One" is almost a little too Gabriel-sounding for its own good, but its brooding electronics are undeniably memorable, not to mention the lyrics written from the Lord's perspective, offering guidance to any who call upon his name. All in all, a remarkably diverse disc that makes McInnis one of a kind in the Christian market, and someone whose artistry and testimony is relatable to Christian culture and beyond.
For more information on Adam McInnis, visit www.myspace.com/adammcinnis.
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