- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Feb
- On My Own
- Never Alone
- Harder Than the First Time
- You Led Me
- She Walked Away
- Average Girl
If BarlowGirl sounds like a familiar name, thank Superchic[k]. The three Barlow sisters, who've taken a stand on purity that includes no dating, inspired Superchic[k] to write their hit song, "Barlow Girls" (on their 2001 debut CD). BarlowGirl simply took a few more years to hone their skills and come up with their own self-titled debut, produced by Otto Price (Sonicflood, dc Talk).
This is another girl rock band with slight punk leanings, echoing the work of The Go-Go's, Avril Lavigne, and Superchic[k]. There's even a little Evanescence in the mix; the piano-based rock ballad "Never Alone" is very reminiscent of "My Immortal." Rebecca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow write their own songs and play their own instruments—and they're pretty good at it. "On My Own," a song about how we can only succeed with God's aid, has a particularly strong rock feel to it. Better yet are the impressive familial harmonies, especially noticeable on "Average Girl," reiterating their no-dating stance.
Other tracks offer thoughtful takes on idolizing celebrities ("Pedestal"), taking God for granted ("Harder Than the First Time," the first radio single), modesty ("Clothes"), and God's plan for our lives ("Surrender"). BarlowGirl doesn't sugarcoat or rely on clichés—they're just simple and honest about it, and their communication skills become more apparent with each listen. Too bad the pretty "Mirror" sounds so much like the similarly themed and worded "Piece of Glass" by Caedmon's Call. No, this is not deep and groundbreaking stuff, but remember the intended audience. While BarlowGirl is not yet as clever or exciting as Superchic[k] and radio's A-list artists, they still effectively communicate to teens.