Time to look back on some of the CD’s I’ve been listening to lately:
The Violet Burning: The Loudest Sound Of My Heart
If I had my choice, I might have picked a show where the band featured the background vocals of Melissa Barnett or the amazing guitar of Andy Prickett, but this is a pretty accurate representation of what The Violet Burning sounds like right now. The setlist is a high energy set with all of the concert staples (the live versions of “Moon Radio” and “Berlin Kitty” make the cuts on Demonstrates Plastic and Elastic seem dull!) The show also features more organic versions of the program heavy songs from The Gravity Show This CD is a great snapshot of a live Violet Burning experience.
The Choir: O, How The Mighty Have Fallen
The song “Fine, Fun Time” describes four old friends sitting around the pool laughing and sharing old memories. That’s an accurate description of the whole album. The Choir doesn’t feel the need to prove anything. They already had their five minutes of fame and garnered their accolades, so they are content to simply produce music they like. The album meanders through effects-laden guitar through songs that describe the ups and downs of life, from the heartbreak of divorce, the pain of comforting a hurting child, the faithfulness of God, and the joy of old friends. The addition of Marc Byrd to the band adds another dimension of shimmering guitars and vocals. I would’ve liked to heard some more up-tempo tracks, but “Mercy Will Prevail” and “To Rescue Me” are two of my favorite closing tracks off of just about any CD.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from this CD. All of the magazine reviews and such seemed to proclaim their greatest work ever and that this album would vault them to heights that only bands like U2 reside in. I don’t know if X&Y is that good, but it is a very solid effort. The CD reminds me more of Parachutes than A Rush Of Blood To The Head. I quite like “Fix You”, “What If”, and “Talk.” Hopefully, the wonderful single “Speed Of Sound” won’t be brutally overplayed by radio, because I really like it.
Copeland: In Motion
Since I’m missing Cornerstone, I picked up a couple CD’s from bands at Cornerstone. This album is so slick, it’s amazing. The vocals are so smooth, it just doesn’t seem right for a rock band to sound that good. Beautiful harmonies and a vocal sound that reminds me of Freddie Mercury. And the CD rocks, too. Some of it is a little too aimed at the teenage market, but the intensity of songs like “Don’t Slow Down” and “You Have My Attention” make it totally worth it.
Mae: The Everglow
This may be the best CD that I’ve picked up in 2005 so far. What an incredible surprise. I sampled it at a bookstore (another Cornerstone band) and picked it up immediately. Typically, bands fail to meet expectations on their sophmore album, but The Everglow destroys their debut album. It’s got everything I like in an album, it’s melodic, it rocks, it tells a story, and it’s got a very creative theme and packaging with the liner notes made to look like a children’s book and record. After a cute “childrens book” intro and “We’re So Far Away”, the album takes off and stays strong through four to five phenomenal songs. There is a slight swoon in the middle and then the closing tracks pull everything together. Great album.