- reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 1 Jun
- Creation's Call
- The Words That You Say
- Divine Invitation
- Spirit Waltz
- When I Search
- Rains Pour Down
- In the Burning
- Weight of the World
- Better Is One Day
- I Fall
At first it seemed like an all-too-convenient PR quote, but newcomers Something Like Silas really
One need not be a modern worship connoisseur to recognize something special about the soundscapes of the band's debut,
From the outset, the quintet showcases a penchant for atmospheric ambiances and intricate arrangements that move beyond the predictable and simplistic three-chord structures of most worship songs. These tracks are shrouded in a euphoric, deeply nuanced aura that bring to mind
Plodding, shimmering textures are the foundation for the title track, a prayerful ballad carried by Malina Owyoung's spatial Rhodes electric piano, with each instrument delicately dipping its toes into her arpeggios without fully plunging in until the very last chorus. Like raindrops falling on a hard surface, the tinkling piano accents in "Rains Pour Down" bounce at the same beat of Lenny Beh's drum, while a sweet Edge-like guitar of Nick Maybury caresses their interplay; by the time the tambourine kicks in, the song is already a full-on rocker/cry for the Spirit to fall. Both "In the Burning" and "Creation's Call" follow a similar rock vein, with wailing, slightly dissonant dynamics and even a furious guitar solo at the end of the latter.
All of these sonic qualities would convey as much message as a Sigur Ros album if they weren't accompanied with capable lyrics. In this respect, Something Like Silas doesn't disappoint, as most of their lyrics read like poetry, such as these from "The Words That You Say": "Shade me with words of wisdom/Free my torn heart from this world/Renew my mind and form my will/Teach me to wholly offer more than words that I can sing/So I become the song I bring." The words look good on paper, but their brokenness can disarm you even more as the song climaxes during its emotional bridge. Likewise, if lines like those in "Spirit Waltz" ("My heart cannot break enough for You") or "I Fall" ("Spinning still my head can't figure You out/The silence thickens in the thought of You") are to have an effect, it has to be in the context of the music. For example, when vocalist Eric Owyoung sings, "I fall in love with You," the guitar actually falls with him, making the simple line even more memorable.
I predict a bright future for Something Like Silas and earnestly hope forward-thinking listeners thirsty for artfully done worship music will embrace them. I also hope Sparrow will nurture them continuously until they become successful. Something Like Silas truly is a breath of fresh air, and their music should serve as a blueprint of sorts for how worship should sound in 2004, some five years after the movement started.