52 Weeks of Summer
Power Move Management (release date: March 31, 2015)
By Bob Marovich
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is nigh upon you. Jor’Dan Armstrong’s new CD, 52 Weeks of Summer, is an aural siren signaling the warmer, better days ahead, literally and figuratively.
Armstrong’s songs are meant to be entertaining, breezy, and spirit-inspired, aimed at a young demographic wanting to pray and play. “With this project, I wanted people to know that you can have fun and still be a Christian,” Armstrong says. “52 Weeks Of Summer is the soundtrack for that.”
The album tracks are bound together by a running diary of spoken interstitials about a long rest in California that Armstrong and his team shared (the title is a reference to California’s year-round warm weather). The cuts have the Deitrick Haddon-style electric sugar buzz and an EDM thumping beat, prominently displayed on the infectious “Let Him Do It” and “I’m Wit It.”
But the longer you listen, the more you realize that the California trip is more than a vacation—it’s a retreat of sorts from past pains, which include a legion of haters jealous of Armstrong’s rising star, who accuse him of “making music for the sinners.” Recharging his battery while enjoying some Christian fun in the Cali sun, Armstrong sings that his healing will come not just from a rest but from fidelity to God. More than once, Armstrong calls out to the Lord: “Whatever you say, I’ll do it.”
“Came Up” summarizes the potentially autobiographical back story, including a house foreclosure and the aforementioned personal jibes. “I started at the bottom, now I’m here,” Armstrong sings, referencing Drake’s popular lyric. He then acknowledges he couldn’t do what he does without leaning and depending on the Lord. On “’Bout Dat,” Adrion Butler, Iz, and another emerging star, Uncle Reece, join Armstrong in a litany of commitments one needs to make to stay faithful to the Creator.
If you haven’t heard him already, Armstrong, who produced 52 Weeks of Summer with TedyP of the Good Guys, is a young urban inspirational artist worth keeping your eyes on.
Meanwhile, I, for one, am looking forward to summer, because Chicago has felt like 52 weeks of winter.
Three of Five Stars
Picks: “Let Him Do It (L.H.D.I.),” “Came Up.”