Sound of Melodies
- Tuesday, August 01, 2006
- Sound of Melodies
- Yes You Have
- Tears of the Saints
- Beautiful Lord
- Can't Stop
- Lift Your Eyes
- Too Much
- How Wonderful
- Carried to the Table
Based on mounting buzz for the band all year, you'd think Leeland represented the Second Coming in Christian rock. That's hardly the case here, but there's no question that much is happening quickly and favorably for Leeland. There's also a lot to praise about their debut effort,
Consider that Leeland Mooring, the band's lead singer and namesake, is only 17 years old. Having grown up traveling across America with his evangelist parents, the family eventually settled in Baytown, Texas to launch a church in 2000. About that time, Leeland started writing songs and honing his music skills. After entering a talent search, one thing led to another, attracting the attention of EMI Publishing President Eddie DeGarmo, producer Marc Byrd, Provident Music Group President Terry Hemmings, and even Michael W. Smith, who is collaborating with the young prodigy for his own album.
It was only a desire to play Leeland's music live that a five-piece band was formed through hometown friends, including older brother Jack Mooring on keys and backing vocals. One of their first official concert performances was at Gospel Music Week 2006, where the visibly moved showcase host—Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline—proclaimed that the audience had just witnessed something special and historical. Though it was an undeniably impressive set by the fledgling band, it brings us back to the matter of over-hype.
For sure, there are some truly outstanding songs on Leeland's debut, with a sound clearly influenced by the brightest and best of Brit pop/rock. The majestic title track in particular lives up to its name by matching an unbelievably contagious melody worthy of Keane with worshipful lyrics befitting an old-fashioned Baptist revival. Even more powerful is "Tears of the Saints," a prayer for the lost and the sort of anthem that ends up becoming a rallying cry for various ministries (like Natalie Grant's "Held" or Third Day's "Cry Out to Jesus"), delivered with the dramatic build of Coldplay or Snow Patrol. On the more upbeat side is "Reaching," a broken heart's cry to God that resembles the energetic push of Sleeping at Last's
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