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-Greg’s Take-

Somewhere along the line music somehow lost sight of context. It became too easy to belt out “Baby, Baby” repeatedly, backed by a mechanical beat and some auto-tune. And what is worse, the world embraced this.

I even began to believe that the days of Jack and Diane and passionate meaning were almost completely gone.

Well, they’re not; not by a long shot. You just have to look a little harder for them.

I have just the starting place and his name is Michael A. Smith.

Charlotte, North Carolina’s Michael A. Smith is a heartfelt singer/songwriter that will move you, make every guy wish they were him and ultimately make you believe in the power of love once more.

Smith’s release Love Interrupted is easy to pick apart and enjoy piece by piece, but when you step back, understand the story and context and then hear the record, it gets a whole lot better.

And I can think of no other way to explain the context of this beautifully done record than to use Smith’s own words:

This album is about a true story that was 15 years in the making. My college girlfriend Erika Albertson and I first got together when I was 19 and she was 18. We had the most passionate, crazy, turbulent love that can be imagined. We were together for all of college and almost got married, however, all of our fire together took its toll and we broke up at the end of our senior year. We didn’t see each other again until 15 years later on the anniversary of our breakup, we reconnected just as our lives in between were falling apart. I couldn’t have ever guessed that the love of my life would come back to me in such an amazing way.

This album covers the time right before, during, and after our lives came back together. This is forever dedicated to the girl who has always inspired me more than anything else in this world, never left my heart, and continues to be the part of me that is truly alive.”

Michael A. Smith’s sound comes from more than just instruments and a voice, he reaches deep within his soul and spills his emotions, uncompromisingly, out into each track. Surprisingly, his voice hangs in my mind as a Chris Robinson-like sound; only Robinson on the straight-and-narrow.  Love Interrupted culminates, vocally and instrumentally, with a soul meets rock/folk by way of southern R&B style that is simply irresistible. From the foot tapping “Keep It All to Myself,” to the emotionally packed title-track, to the instantly addicting “Whisky River,” Smith masters a sound uniquely his own.

Love Interrupted is a memorable mood-setting album in its own right, but once you understand the meaning, it becomes so much more. Some may be quick to toss this into the Adult-Contemporary category, but let’s face it, there is much more to this than you find on the usual receptionist’s radio and any guy, regardless of their age, wishes they could write something like this for the love of his life.