From time to time the singer can steal the song and I'm not referring to pirating apps. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole stole "Somewhere over the Rainbow" from Judy Garland and it was totally legit, like stealing home base in a baseball game. There was something unique, new, and refreshing about his rendition that says loudly that the song is now under new ownership. I myself have experienced the same phenomena while singing in the shower. I've belted out "You ain't nothing but a hound dog" and thought "Too bad for you, Elvis Presley, I own this song now." Then I turn off the hot water and blood flow returns to the brain. Reality hits me like a 18-wheeler. I won't be quitting my day job any time soon.
However, Sam Mercier has a distinctive artistic voice that has a particular resonance; it's hard to describe. You recognize it when you see it. His tonal quality and perfect pitch can dominate the competition. The school where I work is pulsating with Sam's art. In both the principal and vice principal's office there is Sam's version of the "Last Supper." It is in a cartoon style, but it doesn't send the message that being sent to the principal's office is going to be a Mickey Mouse experience. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Normally I am not in favor of cartoon versions of the Gospel. The Disney-happily-ever-after version of the Gospel has led to the emptying out of the mainline churches for the last few decades. We've lost the fear of God. One small example would be the swapping out of this ancient version of Glory to God with this newer, more trendy version that seems to be overly influenced by melodies from the "My Little Pony" kids TV series. Too often bringing the church "up to date" translates into "He must decrease, I must increase." But methinks I doth digress too much.
However, Sam's art, in cartoon style, has a depth to it. It has an underlying melody, so background you're not sure it's there until it becomes a symphony. I honestly don't know whether my enthusiasm for Sam's art is because I know him, Maybe my assessment is too subjective. In my head I see the artist and the art simultaneously. But readers can be more objective. So you be the art critic. How do you like the art? Let me know in the comments.
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