In a lovely mix of light worship and predominantly CCM, Kris Neel delivers a satisfying EP with his self titled release. Merging Hot AC, pop and CCM, this EP will delight those who like the sounds of Calvin Harris, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, but not necessarily the content. If you enjoy Danny Gokey, Mandisa, and Brit Nicole, Kris Neel EP has five songs that deal with searching, waiting, and ultimately the satisfaction in having a relationship with Christ.
“The Wait” opens with a heart pulsing beat, and honeyed vocals from Kris Neel. Memorable pop licks, intelligent lyrics, and a rich tapestry of sounds make an accessible entry into what makes it worth waiting for the final chorus. “Painted Lights” is an allegory of God’s promise, once again woven together with a melody that is like streams of cotton candy floating across a light blue sky. “Forget Tomorrow” is another pop drenched tune that washes away any thought of worry. “30” is no doubt a personal song from Kris, exposing a deep emotional journey cultivated from the past several years. Often times, when artists are vulnerable with their hurts and pains, some of the best material arises. This song is most definitely the crown of this EP, pure honesty and a heart for trusting and relying on God shines through this song. Appropriately, Kris Neel EP ends with “Friends.” An exposition of life between Christ and people, this song is excellent for meditating on hurts between people and focuses on forgiveness.
This is a solid offering from Kris Neel. The songwriting is high, the vocal performance is good, and the sounds fit together and flow without being repetitive or tiresome, as with many independent pop releases. If you find yourself bemoaning the lack of pop music, or want more variety than the traditional fare from the four or five major label CCM music artists, pick up Kris Neel EP.
Kris Neel resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.