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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Overtired and Ill-Prepared

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Nov
Overtired and Ill-Prepared
Sounds like … the ambient Brit pop of Coldplay and Elbow mixed with the American roots rock of Counting Crows, along with some of the evocative qualities of Sleeping at Last, Radiohead, Sunny Day Real Estate, and Mute Math.At a glance … Adelaide's national debut is an intelligent and emotional faith journey that proves that artistry and creativity is alive and well among up-and-coming independent acts."175" Track Listing Starting Line Giving Up on Progress Straight Jackets Headache Chicago Hard to Find Overtired & Ill-Prepared America Misdirection & Offset Cues Will There Ever Be a Way Hymn

You'd half expect a group with a name like The McClurg Family Singers to sound like Southern gospel group. Which might partly explain why this quintet from Buffalo, New York now goes by the handle of Adelaide for their second recording, Overtired and Ill-Prepared.

Try to imagine instead the ambient Brit pop of Coldplay and Elbow with the American roots rock of Counting Crows—vocalist Anthony H. resembles the lead singer from all three. Now add some of the stirring emo-influenced alternative sounds of Sleeping at Last and Sunny Day Real Estate, along with occasional nods to Radiohead's melancholic art-rock feel.. And one can't help note that Anthony H. has a similar affinity for the Rhodes electric piano like Mute Math's Paul Meany. This might all seem like it would gel as well as oil and water, or ultimately sound derivative, but Adelaide impressively manages to keep their style fairly cohesive and unique.

As for the songs, Adelaide takes listeners on an eleven-track journey of faith that initially seems ambiguous. "Starting Line" suggests internal strife and spiritual warfare, and "Giving Up on Progress" apparently expresses frustration over empty and passionless attempts at evangelism. The direction becomes clearer toward album's end—first with a gentle-yet-powerful expression of brokenness and grace in "Will There Ever Be a Way," followed by a simple acoustic "Hymn" that clearly points to a loving Savior. According to the band's bio, they're seemingly focused on reaching the hearts of nonbelievers by seeking to "restore faith those who will receive it, and love those who are unloved." They also include a brief, clearly written creed-styled mission statement in their CD booklet.

Many insiders believe that independent artists today represent the best hope for creativity and artistry in the music industry, Christian and mainstream. The national debut from Adelaide is the latest example to confirm this belief.