Michael Olson

Album Title: Long Arm Of Love
Release Date:
Genre: Singer/Songwriter
If Michael Olson's debut CD Long Arm of Love is any indication we should be hearing from this Minneapolis-based singer / songwriter for years to come. Sonically he resembles another Rocketown Records artist, Shaun Groves. If you had to compare both artists their music would more closely resemble performers like James Taylor, Sara Groves and Carolyn Arends. On Long Arm of Love however Olson demonstrates the versatility to stretch the boundaries considerably further than his contemporaries with sounds of classical, country and a blues finding their way onto this CD.

Rocketown continues to sign artists who have the ability to write very good lyrics. Michael W. Smith's label is simply not content to have a stable of artists who follow market trends with catchy hooks; instead they have assembled a stable of musically gifted poets who write thought provoking lyrics. That roster of artists includes; Ginny Owens, Watermark, Chris Rice, Taylor Sorensen, Shaun Groves, and now Michael Olson.

On The Measure of His Love Jerry McPherson, Scott Dente and bassist Matt Pierson lay down some great guitar licks. The song speaks to the heart of our faith as Christians with words like;

Wait, your faith is a treasure on display
Don't go and wish it all away
'Cause it's in the hardest times
We realize the measure of His love

The title track Long Arm of Love from the album released on May 17th was the first track to receive airplay. This song is a testament to Olson's ability to think outside of the traditional songwriting box. He blends original lyrics with a verse of Blessed Assurance and another verse of Amazing Grace. The resulting song is set to a soft rock beat.

It is difficult to focus on one thing that stands out about this CD because there are so many positives. Olson possesses one of the better male voices to appear on the music scene that is inspired by faith as a solo artist. His voice has no rough edges in fact you may want to apply a term not often used for folk / rock artists that being silky smooth. This quality is particularly highlighted on When It Comes To You; a song that hints at Olson's potential to dabble in a more R&B sound.

So Glad once again demonstrates Olson's versatility as he crosses the line ever so slightly with a song that is closer to country than it is to folk or rock. In fact if you didn't read his bio you might think he was from Nashville and not the Midwest.

Long Arm Of Love, the CD bears the fingerprints of producer Nate Sabin (Sara Groves). It is a masterpiece from a quality artist. This album is well worth the investment. If Shaun Groves' White Flag to be released July 1st is even close to Olson's rookie creation Rocketown will have put together a sensational one-two punch for the summer months.

Writer: Joe Montague

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