When Tomomi McDowell starts speaking, you can tell that English is not her first language. When she throws in a "y'all," you can tell where she learned English and became the person and musician she is today. Her new CD "Trails" says a lot about Tomomi personally, musically and spiritually. First, and most distinctive, is Tomomi's high, melodious singing voice. Her accent is quite evident on all the performances on "Trails." So is her Southern-ness (Southern United States - Tomomi is from Northern Japan: Hokkaido) that comes through in the rural Sunday school sound of several tracks, and in particular in her original lyrics, such as "I don't give up anymore 'cause He don't give up on me," from "God Never Gives Up on Me." That song, as well as "Home Coming," and "Save Me, O God," also suggest Tomomi's Japanese roots with their melodies. "Home Coming" is, hands down, Tomomi's best vocal performance on the CD. The piano is complex, the effect is nostalgic. "Save Me, O God" is built of mournful Psalms. The intensity builds as the songs progress. There is a synthesizer bridge that sounds distinctly Asian. The influence of Tomomi's association with her private jazz piano teacher Dr. Rich Ripani and the Nashville Jazz Workshop also shows up on several cuts. "God Never Gives Up on Me" is full of jazz riffs and has a lounge sound, while "Lord, I Want to Be a Christian" is upbeat jazz: an altar call song. If you know Tomomi as a runner, and her passion for cross-country sport running, the title song, "Trails" comes as no surprise. The lyrics connote her love of nature and reflect her "church in the mountain" American Christian background. If you know Tomomi as a runner, and her passion for cross-country sport running, the title song, "Trails" comes as no surprise. The lyrics connote her love of nature and reflect her "church in the mountain" American Christian background. If you are looking to find Tomomi and her faith, follow "Trails." Mark Cook, Tennessean Trails' review - from Tom R. Duggin, Smithville Review Today's gospel music genres are primarily broken down into two categories; Southern Gospel and Contemporary Gospel. Tomomi McDowell¹s gospel album, 'Trails', veers away from either of those traditional avenues, and takes on a life and sound all it's own. 'Trails' harkens a sound, reminiscent of the great pop standards of the 1930's and 40's, while inflecting both Tomomi's passion for gospel music and deep love for the Lord. When one listens to her soulful delivery, he or she can feel Tomomi reach down into her heart for every lyric, and feel the peace and love reflected in each song. Accompanying her angelic voice is Tomomi's magnificent piano playing, with just enough percussion surrounding it, to accent the mood. It's also these very accents, that set apart Tomomi's work with the traditional sounds of today's gospel music. Eight of the album's eleven songs come from the pen of Tomomi McDowell, and each one of those eight were taken from the inspirations bestowed upon her by the Bible, God's wonderful word. Tomomi McDowell has recorded an album, which is merely a reflection of the person she is; humble, caring, artistic, creative, and most of all, passionate about her love for the Lord, His word, and her music. Let Tomomi McDowell take you on a journey through 'Trails', and take the time to listen with both your ears and your soul. This marvel of a gospel album will be a journey you will never forget.