If you’re even peripherally involved with Catholic media, you will know that peculiar dread that goes thrilling down your spine when you hear the words, “Can I send you a copy of my new Catholic [album, book, movie, interpretive dance instructional booklet, etc.].
Because you know, as surely as you know your own name, that it’s going to suck. It’s going to be Catholic, and it’s going to be well-intentioned, and it’s going to do its darndest to combat the darkness and evil that has such a firm foothold in popular entertainment . . . and it’s going to suck. It will be poorly produced, and would never stand up on its own merits. But you’re supposed to “support” it, because it’s Catholic.
So, I put off listening to Sam Rocha’s Augustinian* soul album, Late to Love, which debuts today. I’ve been putting it off for months. But today I finally clicked on tracks that you can hear online here. And I am kicking myself for waiting.
Because it’s good. Really good. It’s clean, it’s tight, it’s professional.These are real musicians; he’s a real singer, with a supple, smoky voice. It’s original and soulful, the lyrics are smart, the sound is solid and occasionally unexpected, and it’s really, really Catholic. Give a listen! Sam is smart and funny, educated to the gills, and kind of a smart ass. And he totally gets that it’s not enough to be Catholic, you also have to be good at what you do.
*Check out the background for the album cover, above. Recognize that color and texture? Hint: Augustine . . . fruit . . .