After 20 years of record-making, Starflyer 59’s Jason Martin shows no sign of compromising his unique vision. This veteran alternative Christian artist (now on his own after two decades with the Tooth & Nail label) has long taken inspiration from such brooding Brits as The Smiths, The Psychedelic Furs, and The Cure. IAMACEO testifies to Martin’s ability to channel his influences into spiritually probing songs that avoid easy answers. His coolly insinuating vocals are matched by atmospheric tracks built around minor-key melodies and lean instrumental work. Themes of career fulfillment (the title tune), family ties (“Bicycle Rider”), and existential longing (“Pot of Gold”) give the album a lyrical heft under its sonic surface. As on past albums, Martin acknowledges the pull of the dark side (especially in “Through My Door”) while continuing to cling to a shaky but persistent faith (“My Light”). The sleek flow of “Red Tide” and the tango-like rhythm of “I Feel Black” help balance the somber introspection of ballads like “Father John.” In the Starflyer 59 tradition, IAMACEO tempers its angst with the hope of redemption as it rocks with a moody edge.

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