by Mia Paylor
The Very Unofficial EP of Jonathan McReynolds
Release Date: August 2010
Must-Have Tracks: “No Gray”, “Why (feat. Corey Barksdale)”, “Living Your Life”, “Loving Me”
One of the most annoyingly pleasurable moments you can have as a songwriter is when you listen to a great song that you wish YOU wrote. Well, I had three of those moments while listening to The Very Unofficial EP of Jonathan McReynolds.
In the single, “No Gray,” Jonathan sings:
And if it’s You that I’m after/Then I can’t serve two masters/And before something happens/I have to turn it all around because I know you can’t just have your cake and eat it too/Cause it’s real easy to stay on the fence and still do you/And it’d be cool if we could love the Lord and still go do our thing/But see it doesn’t work like that/You gotta be white or black
Clear? Yes. Convicted? Yup, me too. Ministry happens every time you hear it. I also love the fact that the title of the song isn’t mentioned until about 10-15 seconds before the song ends so that the message resonates more than the catch phrase, so to speak.
“Why (feat. Corey Barksdale)” has an attractive simplicity. The light piano arrangement forces you to listen to what’s being said. By the time the song builds to the churchy drive at the end, you’re at a spiritual high point with Jonathan and Corey thanking Jesus for His underserved love. Jonathan and Corey have different sounds but their ad-libs are very complimentary of each other and well placed. (Note to Corey: Submit your project for a review as soon as it’s ready. Thank you. )
“Loving Me” builds like a gospel song but flows like an introspective pop-tune. The balance between the two is perfect. This EP is one of the best introductions to a new artist I’ve heard in a very long time.
Jonathan McReynolds was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, Illinois. In addition to being the bandleader and organist for his church, he’s also a senior earning his bachelor’s degree in music at Columbia College Chicago. His single, “No Gray”, was featured on Bonnerfide Radio…and he was named one of Bonnerfide Radio’s top new artists of 2010.
over a year late getting hip to the ministry and stellar artistry of Jonathan McReynolds. Let’s catch up together.