For Paul Reeves, the last year has been one of many auspicious beginnings-picking up and moving from his native Savannah to the bustling metropolis of Atlanta, getting married, spearheading the launch of a new church worship service and, last but not least, recording his strongest album to date. Invitation reaches much further than it's two predecessors toward defining his melody-rich, modern rock sound and his thoughtful yet accessible songwriting that spans the spiritual, the relational and the introspective. These ten songs-produced by Atlanta-based alt. Soul maverick Micah Dalton, and featuring the sparkling musicianship of drummer Chad Kenner (John McLaughlin), bassist Tim Gibson (Louie Giglio/722), keyboard player Ben Shive (Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz) and others-are an open door, beckoning the listener to be moved by sonic swells, passion and unabashed soul-bearing. This is the work of a feverishly driven artist, the same individual who from the age of ten poured endless hours of energy and sweat into honing his ball-handling skills, in order to become a basketball pro like his idol, "Pistol" Pete Maravich. "When I was a kid I'd go to a birthday party, and when everybody was playing games, I'd be over playing basketball by myself," he recalls. When the basketball dream fizzled out during Reeves' college years, guitar-the instrument that his musician father had unsuccessfully tried to interest him in earlier on-was there to fill the void. First came some cover tunes, a chance to lead worship at his college and plenty of local bar gigs. Within a year, he was penning his own songs, recording first one independent album (2003's Free), then another (2005's Face To Face) and opening for the likes of Angie Aparo, Shane and Shane and Snake Oil Medicine Show. Songs such as "Disappear" seem to imply a great deal of romantic dissatisfaction on Reeves' part, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Frustrated? "Not at all. Those songs were thrown in here to win the right to be heard with some of the other things that I felt like were more significant topics. I guess the biggest theme for me would basically be just being real with yourself. That's big among people in their twenties, being tired of clichéd things, challenging what's always been said." The album ultimately culminates with meditations on a relationship that Reeves sees as all-important-the divine-human relationship. "It's an invitation to take off your mask and be real, and once you're in that naked state, toward the end of the CD there are more songs about God." A significant invitation, indeed.