- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jun
Strange Celebrity is the realization of Luke Brown's lifelong dream. The vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter from Chattanooga, Tennessee was actually already employed as a freelance songwriter in Nashville, but he wanted to start a strong rock band, one that could write their own memorable songs and would feature talented musicians who could put on a first-rate live show. The right candidates were not easily found, but he eventually formed the band in 2001 with drummer Rick Wilson, lead guitarist Quinton Gibson, and bassist Tracy Ferrie.
Luke then sought the advice of veteran Christian guitarist and producer, Chris Rodriguez, who also happens to be an A&R rep for Warner's Christian music division. His assistance led to a record deal and Strange Celebrity's debut,
Far and away, the standout track on
That about covers it for those seeking deeply spiritual songs, however. The majority of
As with many bands on Tooth & Nail, I can appreciate that Strange Celebrity is trying to appeal to an audience broader than the Christian subculture. That should never serve as an excuse for generic fluff, though, since it serves no one. Except for a nice guitar solo by Quinton toward the end, "Someday" is an absolute bore of a rock ballad about peace and hope. The sentiments are nice and well-intentioned, but they don't say much: "Someday the sun's gonna shine and lift us beyond where we are/Someday, if only we could love one another/I hope we can reach out that far someday." Despite its title and the lyrics about the temptation to pursue an inappropriate relationship, "Dangerous" is surprisingly dull. And "Perfect World" gives the album a lumbering and unremarkable finish.
The unfortunate part about Strange Celebrity is that the talent is evident—just underutilized. Luke can write and sing well, Rick's a very good drummer, and Quinton delivers a few
excellent guitar solos. Remedy is not unpleasant to listen to. It
just doesn't offer enough to listen to it over and over. Despite
their talent, the band generally opts for bland and simplistic
modern rock for much of the album. Rockers like "Rise" and "Free" demonstrate some passion and skill, but ballads like "Someday" and "Dangerous" sound far too generic and amateurish. There's potential here, but Strange Celebrity's