She Remains the Same
There’s more than a touch of the heroic to Andrew Ripp’s music; it’s the boldness of his sound that gives Ripp the aura of a champion. “Star,” “When the Deal Goes Down” and “Growing Old Too Young” radiate defiance and resolve thanks to assertive vocals, brawny guitar work and uplifting choruses. “Peace Like a River” (not the Paul Simon song by the same title) burns with a stubborn idealism, driven home by slide guitar and a soulful groove. The artist’s growing Christian faith finds expression in tracks like “Savior” (a blues celebration of God’s constant presence) and “You Will Find Me” (a prayer of thankfulness with old-fashioned gospel overtones). Turning down the volume, Ripp shines in an acoustic setting with “Forever After Love” and “The Good I’ll Do,” inviting comparisons with Jason Mraz and Steve Forbert. Overall, She Remains the Same manages to combine classic-rock aggression with more intimate country and folk elements with surprising ease. Behind these elements is a restless, still-developing talent, spurred on by ambition and tempered by faith.