The CD that took me through Atlanta's Thanksgiving traffic - Johnny Jackson

I'd say it was a good beginning to the holiday season.

The cool, ambient light glowing from the tops of cars traveling ever-slowly and steadily on Interstate 75 was interrupted by the sound track to a film I'd never seen. A sincere voice led in through my car speakers by this soft-sounding symphony, reminiscence of an African chorus and backed by chaotic drum licks.

I'd caught another album CD release late on Nov. 20. None was in stock at the store earlier that day.

I was able to get the much-anticipated album, though, later that day.

I had hoped for the best, and strangely, did not fear the worst in this album I was all too ready to pay full price for. Surprisingly, I got it on discount.

Like a child on Christmas Eve, I couldn't wait to open the package.

Known for my eclectic interests, particularly in music, I hoped the album would be at least that for me - eclectic.

It took me a couple of minutes to fumble through the skin-tight plastic wrapping before I met this other barrier. So, I tore through the security tape beneath, only managing to remove a small piece of tape at each attempt.

Eventually, I'm there to do more than observe the album cover and song titles. Now, I can actually play the CD and listen to the album.

Gently, as always with new CDs, I put the CD into the CD player. My expectation is that it will live up to its hype - that hype I'd created in my own mind.

So, it did that and a little more.

Coming off a bunch of upstanding newly released albums in all genres of music, from country to hip hop, I was thoroughly pleased with OneRepubic's debut album "Dreaming Out Loud."

The band has been characterized as a rock band in the way that ColdPlay (across the Atlantic) is characterized. But for a band, producing its first compilation album, I think the members of OneRepublic deserve some kind of credit.

Add to that credit, the band's executive producer, Timbaland, the reknown producer of award-winning hip-hop and pop musicians.

Timbaland managed, with this band, to slink across music genres to settle on one heavy-but-uplifting album that is remarkable, not only by its production, but in its musicality.

I enjoyed every bit of the album and would recommend it. It certainly helped me see some beauty in Atlanta's less than appetizing traffic, heading into the Thanksgiving holiday.

Johnny Jackson is the education reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at jjackson@henryherald.com or at (770) 957-9161.