This new release from Lewisburg, Pennsyvania native Michael Logen is, to say the least, quite impressive. New Medicine is filled with serious, thoughtful lyrics and lush musical structure that makes it an album to be listened to and savored as a whole. As his upbringing was in the Mennonite community, Logen’s use of spirituality and religious imagery comes into play as does the feeling of introspection and solitude; in many ways, this is a lonely person’s kind of album.
Opening with the piano-based “St. Christopher”, its story is that of someone on the road who, indeed, needs the guidance of the patron saint of travelers. A powerful start to this collection, which leads into the album’s first single, “Ready Or Not”, which is immensely catchy and is seen as a “sing-along redemption story”. “Breaking Your Own Heart,” written by Logen and his friend, Jennifer Hanson, was recorded by Kelly Clarkson on her album, Stronger. That album went on to win a Grammy for “Pop Album Of The Year” but here, you hear a stripped-down acoustic version of the song. “Best Of You” is a departure from most of the songs to this point – with a tense drum-machine track and features one of our favorite performers from last year, Liz Longley; “That Next Thing” which includes contributions from singer Kim Richey is a languid, summer’s evening kind of piece – wafting in from the sweet country air. “Paper Thin” is the album’s standout (to this writer) with its slow build-up and explosive choruses – listen to the eruption of the economical but powerful guitar solo.
Three albums into his recording career and Michael Logen is obviously hitting new heights in his songwriting and the execution of his performances. The timing couldn’t be better for this release as it fills a void in a time of heat, dust, movement and stoppage – summer needs more albums like this and thankfully, New Medicine is the right elixir for this season.
New Medicine is available now