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Let Your Love Out (EP)
Artist: Luke Benward
Thirteen year old Disney Channel idol Luke Benward enters the music world with his first EP, Let Your Love Out. If your children are a fan of the movie How to Eat Fried Worms, then you will recognize his face immediately. Most adults will have the usual reaction to manufactured music directed at tweens: “Do we really need this?” and “How many times will my kids make me play this disc?”
Benward is not without pedigree – his father Aaron was half of the CCM duo Aaron & Jeffrey, and had a pretty good solo career as well. In fact, Aaron produces the disc, and wrote or co-wrote four of the five songs here.
Luke, on the other hand, may not be ready for this just yet. His voice is somewhere between his father’s and puberty, and comes off somewhat childish at times – at times you will actually have trouble remembering the singer is a boy. The tunes here are infectious, slickly produced, and straddle that fine line between being Disney Channel friendly without being obviously Christian, yet inspiring enough lyrically to enter the CCM world without fear.
“Get Up” and “Shine” are similar in theme, with the idea that one person can start a movement in difference-making. “Let Your Love Out” is a song Stacie Orrico would have done five years ago, and “Everyday Hero” evokes Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated”. The cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” has a talent show feel to it, and is passable, albeit performed in too high a key musically.
This is definitely an album aimed at preteens and teens. Unless you have a weakness for paint by numbers discs full of studio tricks, it probably isn’t going to leave much of an impression.
Brian A. Smith