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Levi Hummon

Levi Hummon – 2016 (Valory Music)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Levi Hummon

Levi Hummon can blame it (his music career) on his roots. That's not such a bad thing. His father, Marcus, has enjoyed a songwriting career after having a short-lived singing career. Son Levi is trying to see if can merge both on his five-song debut EP.

Hummon came up with sufficiently commercial pop country songs with a decided pop edge. Hummon possesses a slightly soulful, funky voice on the opening "Life's for Livin'," with references to "beers to drink and lips for kissin'/Creeks to jump in/skinny dippin'."

Everything sounds just right thanks to producer Jimmy Robbins (RaeLynn, Canaan Smith), who also helped write four of the songs. Perhaps a bit more abandon would have served Hummon well. The songs stick in your head well enough - one could easily imagine getting hooked on "And life's for livin'/So let's get livin/While the livin's getting' good" on the leadoff "Life's for Livin'." The generally midtempo material is built for sing-alongs, especially from a female crowd.

Hummon loses a number of points for "Guts and Glory," his wave the flag song about the perseverance of Americans from Rosa Parks to firemen to Neil Armstrong to an "Apple building" to "your dad's Ram truck." Is this product placement music? Interestingly enough, Hummon just happens to have a commercial tie-in with Ram truck. While the idea of artists having commercial ties is nothing new (bluegrasser Rhonda Vincent has been a celebrant of Martha White flour for years), doing so this overtly cheapens the "product," aka the song. At some level, for a song about another American trait - innovation - Hummon falls short in that regard.

Hummon's pop sound is au courant, his singing is pleasant enough as are the songs, but more creative spark would have worked far better in trying to make his mark.