It wasn’t long ago we were watching movies like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller. It wasn’t long ago the U.S. had a second British music invasion. It wasn’t long ago “Video Killed the Radio Star.” Certainly, it was the music video that separated the 80’s from other decades. Occasionally I still watch Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” a favorite.
Recently, I received an email from a British lad that reminded me of Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, and Kerry Livgren wrapped into one. His music and videos have energy and passion, with compelling lyrics. His nine tracks have a timeless feel with inspiring Biblical quotes. But with further inspection, there’s more to this musician than the 80’s. R.J. Thompson’s new release Echo Chamber takes the retro 80’s, and turns it into modern history.
R.J.’s unique style opens with the album title track, “Echo Chamber.” A catchy Synclavier piece, “Echo Chamber” takes us to unexpected times, divisions of today. One line, “It’s getting harder every day to love thy neighbor,” strikes a chord with me. “Blackout Windows” is an awesome tune that was released as a single. With much energy, this piece should get its share of airplay. “Think About You,” with engaging violins, tugs at you. A well-produced piece, the strings complete this melody. “Go It Alone,” a bluesy pop rock piece, has a cool guitar ending. Another tune, “Lie Close To Me,” has sentiment tied to the track. In a conspicuous way, R.J. sings from his heart on this track.
Echo Chamber captures the essence of the 80’s. I recommend checking out his website where you’ll see an eye-catching Michael Jackson/Madonna type video. It’s pretty cool. But, R.J.’s Echo Chamber taps into something more. Baby boomers, Millennials, and Generation X will connect to Echo Chamber. With an ageless, edgy, and unending attraction to it, Echo Chamber is an album for everyone. I’m J.R. Joseph Miller, and this is R.J. Thompson singing in an Echo Chamber.