James Tealy | Redeeming the Days - EP

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Spiritual: Alternative CCM Rock: Adult Alternative Pop/Rock Moods: Christian
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Redeeming the Days - EP

by James Tealy

Smart, progressive pop songs that are as spiritually rich as they are lyrically accessible.
Genre: Spiritual: Alternative CCM
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Dawn
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5:34 $0.99
2. Permanent
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4:03 $0.99
3. Foreign Is Familiar
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3:38 $0.99
4. Blue Horizon
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3:58 $0.99
5. Fourteen
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2:51 $0.99
6. Room To Run
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3:38 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
James Tealy
Redeeming the Days

“In the meantime I’ll keep a looser grip on the stuff I’ve piled in this sinking ship. And I’ll hold tight to Jesus, ‘cause He’s permanent, ‘cause He’s everlasting.” —from the song “Permanent”

In an industry where style typically triumphs over substance, singer/songwriter James Tealy’s music is a refreshing exception to the rule.

Not only are the songs from Redeeming the Days deeply personal and heartfelt, but Tealy has a knack for writing about deeper things with the panache of a pop music craftsman—a rare combination that not only attracted the attention of Universal Music and Grammy-winning producer Monroe Jones, but inevitably connects with listeners on all levels.

Back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit Tealy’s hometown of New Orleans, his perspective on just about everything changed, especially concerning what’s really important in life—and what isn’t.

“It’s impossible to walk through something like that without it coloring my entire narrative,” Tealy says. “My wife and I had been living and working in New Orleans for 10 years when Katrina hit. We left the city a day before the storm with three days worth of clothes and our pet rabbit. Eight weeks later, we were allowed back into our zip code for one day between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to salvage whatever we could from our home. We lost some stuff but what we gained from the experience is immeasurable. The effects of those days show up in my conversations and writing in ways I don’t expect sometimes—and then I realize how deeply it’s affected my worldview.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tealy tried to write but it was still too early to honestly process his emotions. Weeks later while doing some interviews for a Katrina Relief Project, the poignant, poetic lyrics to “Permanent” surfaced.

For “Blue Horizon,” Tealy teamed up with friend and producer Ben Shive to chronicle the story of the day he and his wife drove out of New Orleans in a Budget moving truck with what they had salvaged of their belongings. “The song is really about the pressure I felt as a husband to protect her, to be present for her in those moments while I was still processing my own grief and loss.”

While subject matter like this could make for a heavy album, Redeeming the Days is the perfect title. Tealy’s stalwart faith in God is apparent in each track, even when God’s not mentioned by name. “When I wrote a song, I’m trying to capture a moment or tell a story. If Jesus shows up in a song it’s because my followship of Jesus seems to color every story. Some songs I hear—and occasionally write— are like windows. They want to present some objective truth and have you, as a listener, stand separated from it and look in. Those songs are written to teach.

“But I think my songs are more like doors than windows. I want listeners to come in, sit down and join in the story. Instead of teaching people some truth that stays distant, I want to invite people into the story to experience what I’m experiencing as I try and figure out what it means to walk in the ways of Jesus."


Reviews


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CMCentral.com

From CMCentral
James Tealy had lived and worked in New Orleans with his wife for 10 years when Katrina hit. It sounds like his material losses were fairly minimal, but the spiritual gains he experienced as a result of the storm were significant. His thoughtful perspective and intuitive manner deeply informs this very personal EP, and his smooth piano pop accessibility makes the project even more appealing.

Opening with the gently pulsating ballad “Dawn,” Tealy sets an introspective mood and follows it up with insightful lyrics and a warm, vulnerable delivery. Standout track “Permanent” follows, a hugely melodic pop piece that reminds us of what is truly valuable and lasting, a lesson he learned up close and personal from Katrina.

The piston-like rhythms of “Foreign is Familiar” alternate industrial overtones with a global sensibility, while the perceptive lyrics of the chorus reinforce the track’s heartfelt message: “All my words are just tarnished toys/ They have been broken by broken boys/ Give me the truth that cuts through all this noise and I’ll sing it/ I’ll shout it/ Till all that’s foreign is familiar.”

The two closing tracks contain a similar theme, both sensitively drawn portraits of young people in pain. “Fourteen” immediately brings Paul Simon to mind, Tealy’s finely tuned vocals echoing the loneliness of a daughter left behind. The poignant “Room to Run” tells the story of a runaway; both tracks are hard to listen to. Tealy’s aim is that good.

This aptly-titled EP bears a warm intimacy, allowing these 6 open-hearted songs to go down easily.

Margaret

Wow
This is a really great CD. These pop/rock songs all have layers of sound, terrific melodies and spiritual lyrics that speak of experience without falling into the 'praise and worship' genre. Very very nice.

Poonam


Nice twist on worship music. Great talent.

Brad at CD Baby


Lush and welcoming, this Christian pop/rock EP is vast in its scope, but deeply effective and accessible as a result of its intelligently personal approach. While these are, at their core, very spiritual songs, they should probably be recognized first and foremost for what they accomplish musically. By crafting tracks that could easily find a home in a modern pop radio format, Tealy has really given himself a great platform for his insightfully driven lyrics. While "Dawn" is a delicate ballad that builds and then gracefully subsides, "Foreign is Familiar" hits a little bit harder, blending guitar and keyboards together with thumping drums to form a beautifully controlled wall of sound. It's easy to write spiritual songs that lean on a refrain and don't do much but repeat cliches. It's much harder to speak from the heart of experience and really expose faults and misgivings. This is where Tealy really sets himself apart, penning lyrics that are wonderfully subdued and human, lending themselves to a personal feel that makes these six songs something you'll want to listen to again and again.

Russ Breimeier

Christianitytoday.com
The relatively unknown James Tealy reveals himself a truly creative talent with this inventive alternative pop EP that's intelligently crafted both musically and lyrically. It almost becomes repetitive for us music critics to explain what we're looking for in an artist. While innovation is nice, it's really a matter of finding someone who doesn't sound exactly like other artists out there, someone who's willing to vary their music from track to track, and someone who brings personality to their songwriting. I'm happy to say that James Tealy easily meets all the criteria. Tealy's smart lyricism is matched with impressive production by Monroe Jones (Chris Rice), who helps vary the ambiance in every song. Recalling everyone from Terry Scott Taylor and Charlie Peacock to The Fray, Marc Cohn, and Gavin DeGraw, this EP offers alternative pop that's neither too organic nor programmed. I know Tealy has a heart for youth (reflected in the stories behind "Fourteen" and "Room to Run"), but his style skews older, perfect for college age and above looking for intelligent pop music from a faith-based perspective.

Sarah

Redeeming the days
God bless you James! I really enjoy your cd! Thank you!!!

Christa Banister

Christian Single Magazine
"In an industry of cool, James Tealy is one of those singer/songwriters who skips right past the pretension and writes sturdy folk/pop tunes that tug at your heart. But not in a sappy, tear-jerking way like a great chick flick. With all the album's sincerity, listeners can't help but connect with these songs for the long haul. Inspired by the Hurricane Katrina disaster in his hometown of New Orleans, tracks like "Blue Horizon" and "Permanent" encourage remembrance of what really matters with poignant lyrics like: "in the meantime I'll keep a looser grip on the stuff I've piled in this sinking ship/And I'll hold tight to Jesus, 'cause He's permanent, 'cause He's everlasting." And if that wasn't enough to whet your musical appetite, the songs are just plain catchy too. Plenty of hooks and memorable musicianship prove Tealy's the whole package--a songwriter with substance and style."