James and the Shame, the music project by the well-known content creator, Rhett James McLaughlin of Good Mythical Morning, released his debut album “Human Overboard" on Sept. 23.
McLaughlin has opened up about his religious upbringing and his journey of religious self-discovery in his online content before, but never to this depth. “Human Overboard" is a very raw and real deconstruction of his spirituality. As a former missionary and devout Christian, he has a lot of insight and comforting words for those going on a similar journey.
“Human Overboard" is an interesting trek into music made by content creators, as it strays from what would be considered popular genres to young people. James and the Shame is a contemporary country album that brings fresh insight into the development of religion in the modern United States.
Many of the songs on "Human Overboard” are fairly cut and dry. All of them are clearly from the perspective of a Christian family man losing his faith. Each track handles different aspects of his journey and his acceptance of not knowing what comes next.
The track list almost serves as a timeline of events and realizations for him and his family going through this process. Some of the best songs on this album represent the most pivotal moments.
Track One: "Believe Me”
This song is the most popular on the album. McLaughlin discusses the way that he has answered questions about why he is stepping away from the church, only to have those people doubt his reasonings or his character.
Track Five: "Where We’re Going"
This discusses how McLaughlin and his wife came to terms with stepping away from their faith because they have each other. He doesn’t know where they’re going, in the physical sense of not knowing where their life will take them, and also in the afterlife.
Track Six: "Creek and Back"
McLaughlin discusses parenthood as someone who has left religion but was raised in it. He admits that he doesn’t know how to parent and that he is learning along with his children.
Track Nine: "In Vain"
In this track, Mclaughlin discusses how he feels those who judge him for leaving the faith and a lot of modern Christians take the Lord's name in vain in many more ways than just as a curse. Invoking his name to enhance their arguments or for small things such as finding a good parking spot.
Overall, "Human Overboard" is something refreshing to the contemporary country genre; it’s thought-provoking. This album has the potential to grow to be an iconic work of McLaughlin’s and also as a representation of religion in the United States at present.
I would give “Human Overboard” a 7 out of 10.