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214. Do You Feel – The Rocket Summer

DO YOU FEEL (2007)

The Rocket Summer

I remember when living in Colorado that the 2005 Annual Christian Booksellers Convention was to be held in Denver. It had been several years since I had attended and wanted to see several friends I had lost contact with. While attending once such friend was working with a new, independent artists called The rocket Summer. He gave me a copy of the “bands” second album, Hello, Good Friend. I listened to it twice on the way back to Colorado Springs and it was there my oldest daughter took possession and I never saw it again.

But two years later a follow-up release came across my desk and I held on to this one with a firm grasp. “Do You Feel” is impressive collections of songs, brilliantly written, performed and arranged with originality and passion. What few artists I could list as comparisons would not suffice. One friend joked that if Andy Pratt was 18 again he would be writing music like The Rocket Summer.

The Rocket Summer is actually one man, Bryce Avary. He is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and responsible for pretty much every thing you hear coming from the speakers. On this album Avary incorporates a brass section for the first time and remains the only instruments not performed by Avary – though he does play saxophone on the album as well.

Piano driven soul-infused rock dominate the album with true pop sensibility never lost. Avary is not just a musician that likes to dabble in different instruments, but rather he is accomplished in every instrument including real, live drums! One reviewer described Avary’s approach as “smart pop” and the label fits. There is something going on here deeper than first expected. Songs deal with the lack of compassion for the down-trodden and a Biblical love that is hard to discover and to wait for.

Avary on more than one occasion writes concerning the music industry and his desire to remain an individual and not be sucked into the machine. He appears to live this out with his continued desire to create his own music on his own terms. his recent album probably could be included on this list if I had acquired it in time to honestly review. Ten years from now it will probably crack the Top 100.

One fun final note is the video for the single So Much Love. The video shows Avary and some “mock” band members performing the song while party attendees enter through the piano. Band members and attendees include Matt Theissen (Relient K), Jeremy Davis (Paramore), Jonathan Cook (Forever the Sickest Kids), Mike Herrera (MxPx) and a host of other friends.

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  1. Bill B
    February 12, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    The Rocket Summer is an amazing artist. Funny to find his album listed with the ‘best 500 CCM albums’ considering that CCM radio doens’t even play TRS music.

    • low5point
      February 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      CCM radio doesn’t play 90% of the titles on this list. Christian rock radio has played him though

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