For album number eight, Smalltown Poets returned to Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN, stirring memories of where many of these pop-rocker’s hits were recorded in the late 90s to early 2000s. Perhaps drawing on this inspiration, the accessible essence of their ForeFront Records debut from 1997 returns throughout their new effort Say Hello (buy), though, the guys bring a timbre complete with personal reflections, faith contemplations, and praise and worship. In other words, expect a mature, melodic record replete with hooks and some surprises (like the horn-doused “Impossible” and the Beatles‘esque mellotron throughout “Are You With Me?”), all tied around production by Matt Goldman (Third Day, Casting Crowns, Underoath, Copeland) and the seasoned players themselves. Also, keep a careful listen for Third Day’s Mac Powell on “You’re My Shepherd,” along with Eric & Ruby Montgomery and the Grace Choir during “Like Home,” perhaps the group’s greatest example of this updated homecoming.
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