Audio Review: Daniel J. Mount – “Somewhere East Of Eden”

Audio Review: Daniel J. Mount – “Somewhere East Of Eden”

Produced by Ben Garms, Sam Garms, and Daniel J. Mount
Independent
danielmount.com
Format: CD & Digital
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Format Reviewed: Apple Music

Tune-O-Meter: High

SONG TITLES: Creation Overture (Sam Garms) / Before The World Began (Daniel J. Mount / Ben Garms) / Listen To Creation (Daniel J. Mount) / The King In His Beauty (Guest Vocals: Mary, Deborah, and Evangeline Mount) (Daniel J. Mount / Taylor Garms) / Adam Sees (Daniel J. Mount) / Somewhere East of Eden (Featuring Michael Mount) (Dianne Wilkinson / Daniel J. Mount) / Remember We Are Dust (Daniel J. Mount) / Dragons (Daniel J. Mount) / If Adam Never Fell (Daniel J. Mount) / Nailed To His Cross (Daniel J. Mount / Taylor Garms) / Eagerly Awate (Daniel J. Mount) / Because He Loves His Bride (Guest Vocals: The Garms Family) (Dianne Wilkinson / Daniel J. Mount)

Daniel Mount is certainly no stranger to the Southern Gospel industry. His writing has had an undeniable influence on the genre with his aptly-named Southern Gospel Blog (which has since been retired), not to mention co-writing the biography of songwriter, Dianne Wilkinson, as well as other non-SG related publications. He even contributes to MusicScribe from time to time, including product reviews.

Today, however, Daniel comes under the spotlight himself with his solo release, “Somewhere East of Eden.” I admit, the title caught my attention, and having both talked to and worked with Daniel over the years, I was interested to see what he has to offer.Right off the bat, it’s obvious that this isn’t your regular southern gospel album. The album is co-produced by Ben and Sam Garms of the Garms Family, and there is plenty of musical variety here. At times, I felt as though I was listening to a movie score; the orchestration is quite good for being an independent release (Sam Garms’ arrangements in particular feel quite epic). Daniel also enlists Ms. Wilkinson for co-writing on two selections: the title track and “Because He Loves His Bride” (the former is definitely the most SG-influenced track).

This is very much an ambitious release with an interesting concept, focusing on Adam and Eve’s initial sin and their banishment, ultimately leading to redemption. Some folks may disagree with some of the theology found here (I found myself struggling to grasp the idea of “Adam Sees,” for example, but I will give credit to Daniel for sticking to not just his musical ideas, but his spiritual ones as well.

When you are not only the primary artist, but making the primary creative decisions, it is definitely a risk. In Mount’s case, it would have been a good idea to have a trusted source to assist with the vocals. Too much emphasis seemed to be placed on stretching Daniel’s vocal range to the point that some of the lower and higher notes simply sound unnatural (and heavily edited) as opposed to just giving a natural vocal performance in a comfortable range.

To be absolutely fair, though, Daniel himself acknowledges in his liner notes, “I know I’m a mediocre singer.”

I will give Mount (and his co-producers/arrangers) credit for creating something different and obviously very personal. Just keep in mind that personal does not always equate with commercial.

Overall
2.5 out of 5

2.5

Fair
2.5 out of 5

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Category CD Reviews, Reviews

Kyle Boreing

Kyle has been writing for MusicScribe since 2008. He is a musician, producer, arranger, and occasional quartet singer, who pays way too much attention to recordings. He is an alumni of Stamps-Baxter School of Music and has shared the stage with many different artists. He also really likes movies that are "so bad they're good." Visit his website at www.kyleboreing.com, or follow him on Twitter @kyleboreing.

MusicScribe Comments

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1 Comment

  1. Reply September 02, 20:26 #1 Daniel J. Mount

    Thank you for reviewing this! You’re probably kinder than it deserves. Especially when it comes to my singing. Plenty of times while doing this, I asked myself why a singer as mediocre as I am would try to take on something like this. :) I did over 100 takes on that final song!

    I don’t know if a producer could have gotten a better vocal performance out of me. I’m just not a great singer. :) My thought process here was that these songs tell a story together that they don’t do separately, and I didn’t really have any other way to tell this story.

    On Adam Sees – Though I do care quite a bit about theology, that one isn’t very theological. At least, I don’t intend it that way. It’s more imaginative. Imagine being Adam. Imagine you had to live for hundreds and hundreds of years after the fall, watching your great-grandchildren starve and die and kill each other, knowing you could have stopped all this. Just imagine that guilt.

    The last verse is still imaginative, but inspired by I Cor. 15: “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” What would it have been like for the first Adam to see Jesus, the Second Adam, conquer death?

    Most of the other songs are fairly theological. This one is quite imaginative. What would it have been like to be Adam? :)


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