Joel Vaughn has been consistently releasing solid records for the past few years, and his newest five-track EP, Control Vol. 2, is no exception. His infectious, yet somewhat reserved, style is a welcome addition to the oversaturated world of pop music; and he proves with each release that he can craft music that is a notch above the norm.
The Vol. 2 EP kicks off with the catchy and worshipful anthem "Unreserved", which serves as a solid opener that showcases what Vaughn does best: Taking a generic pop formula and transforming it into something fresh. Throughout the song, Joel's passion to bring glory to God is evident: "Let my praise go far beyond my words / My heart is unreserved." The EDM influenced "More Than Good Enough" speeds things up and, once again, showcases Vaughn's ability to take a tired formula and make it his own. The funky "Something New" definitely brings something new (pun intended) to the EP, boasting a catchy hook that is bound to get stuck in the listener's head. This track includes some jazzy elements that we haven't really heard from Vaughn in the past, and breaks things up nicely at the halfway point. Following this up is the poppy "I Look To You," which isn't quite as strong as its counterparts, however, it still serves its purpose on the record. Closing the EP is the beautiful piano-driven ballad, "I Give It All Back." The lead piano meshes perfectly with strings and various electronic elements to create an emotional closer with lyrics such as, "I give it all back to you / 'Cause I've already had control / So do what only you can do / You turn everything to gold."
Once again, Vaughn has proven that he can produce quality pop music that is a step above the status quo. Songs like "Something New" show a different side to Joel's work that we haven't heard in previous records, and slower moments like "I Give It All Back" help break styles up at the right time. While his brand of pop isn't the most innovative, Joel has definitely found his place in the genre; Control Vol. 2 is a record filled with highpoints, consisting of encouraging lyrics and refined pop elements. For fans of Vaughn, or pop music in general, this EP is definitely one you will want to add to your catalog.- Review date: 4/14/19, written by James Larsen of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: DREAM Records
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