Amanda Grace can sing. I mean, seriously, the woman can wail in the most pleasant way possible. Whether she is holding onto a note for what seems like an eternity or allowing her voice to reach the near breaking point as she evokes a raspy vocal that can only come from deep within a singers soul, the instrument she was born with is a pleasure to behold. That instrument is the shining star on Grace’s third full-length release, Rayne Angel.
Rayne Angel, inspired by a child Grace met while touring in 2017, was digitally released on Nov. 1 and will be brought to the public live at an album release show Nov. 30 at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall in St. Paul. The album opens with “Carry Love,”a seeming love letter from Grace to God. As the song progresses, Grace expounds on the track title by explaining that she carries God’s love with her everywhere she goes and no matter how many things go wrong in the wide world or just in her own world, that love is constant and she feels lucky to have it. The track is well written and does well to get its point across. Grace’s vocals are soft and smooth and that works with this tune.
The gospel theme works well for Grace and for this album. There are several gospel-inspired tracks on Rayne Angel and all of them are the shining stars.
“You’ll Bring Me Back” serves as a call to arms of sorts in that it calls on every person from every lot in life to stop thinking and start loving God. The lyrics are powerful, the message is clear, and Grace’s vocals draw a listener in. I would count “You’ll Bring Me Back” as one of the strongest tracks on the album.
Ultimately, Rayne Angel is a strong effort marred by continuity issues. The God tracks work, but as a whole, I can’t tell if this album knows what it wants to be, and that is a problem for me. I am not trying to say that every track on an album must make perfect sense with every other track, but from protesting politics via a Dolores O’Riordan (R.I.P) cover, a confusing track about a strong/weak American, a profession of love to a significant other, human trafficking, a desperate need for a vacation, and being told that you need to get rid of your clothes if you want to be a star, this album might be a little bit too all over the place for me.