There’s something noteworthy about what Michael Ray brings to the table on his new album, Amos. Maybe it’s the spirit of his beloved grandfather that Ray personifies in the album’s namesake, but Amos is more than just a body of country songs – it’s a symbol of Ray’s growth as an artist. Since Ray topped the chart in 2016 with “Think a Little Less,” he’s proven that Amos was worth the wait, drawing in one’s attention with his compelling voice and convincing delivery that makes for his most dynamic project to date.
The timing of the album’s summer release is a perfect match for the feel-good vibe that’s weaved throughout Amos’ spirit, as evidenced by the nostalgic “Summer Water,” lively “Fan Girl,” flirtatious “You’re On” and the irresistible “One That Got Away.” The 11-track project is slick all the way down from Ray’s polished vocals to the skillful production that blends authentic country elements with the genre-bending sounds that have broadened the country perspective.
With the lighthearted tracks comes a series of sentimental moments that demonstrate an emotional depth that diversifies Ray’s artistry. The moving “Her World or Mine” reflects this, as Ray delivers an emotive conviction that makes it the most captivating song on the record. Through both the pain-soaked lyrics and the honest passion in Ray’s vocals as he sings “One of us moved on, one of us got stuck, one of us sleeps good, one of us hates to face the night, just depends if you’re talking about her world or mine,” it feels as though your heart is breaking alongside his own, exhibiting a raw vulnerability that proves his artistic strength. Should he continue to offer songs in this vein, he could place himself in the category of the legends and timeless heartbreak songs he so admires. The album’s lead single “Get to You” also demonstrates Ray’s earnest side as he tries to reach out to a woman afraid to love, staying in tune with the heartfelt nature he portrays on his other romantic numbers.
While Ray has always been a promising vocalist, his voice truly glows on Amos, making each song come to life with his combination of strength and purity. But it’s the sense of conviction he brings to each track that shows just how much Ray has grown, seeming to truly envelope himself in every story portrayed in this compilation of songs.
Though Ray has already established himself in the genre with two chart-topping hits, Amos is bound to not only expand upon this success, but prove his stamina as a well-rounded artist capable of honesty and depth, two qualities crucial to the core of the genre he embraces whole-heartedly.