Album: Hero
Artist: Daily Planet
In a Phrase: You'll be hard pressed to find a better debut this year in Christian music.
Scheduled Street Date: August 20, 2002

Earlier this year Reunion Records approached me about covering a modern rock group, categorized as the halfway point between Dave Matthews and Creed, that they had just signed. I was somewhat shocked that a rock band was on a largely pop label known for producing acts like Michael W. Smith and Kathy Troccoli, but after listening to the CD, I realized Daily Planet could be one of the next Christian mega-bands. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to the music of Daily Planet.

Daily Planet comprises Jesse Butterworth (lead vocals, guitars), Seth Davis (bass, backing vocals), Bobby Reinsch (lead guitar) and Danny Lund (drums). I was able to spend some time with the guys in Nashville last April, and I'll let you in on a little secret: They're as cool as their music.

The CD kicks off with the band's first single, Flying Blind, written in response to the blind faith the band exercised when taking the chance of moving to Nashville. No joke, this is probably one of the year's best singles. Call your local radio station and request it!

The record has tracks that ask questions we've all dealt with some time in our lives: When my faith is shaken, what can I put my trust in? (Lost and Found), and why do bad things happen to good people? (Questioning the Notion). These songs are addressed with thoughtful lyrics and superb musical overtures.

Tangled Web, although originally written for the Spiderman soundtrack, fits perfectly with the rock persona Daily Planet has created. Reinsch's guitars and Butterworth's vocals blend in a surprising manner. Listen, and you'll find out.

Six-String Rocketeer is possibly the most personal offering on the CD, especially for Butterworth. The story behind the unique title and lyric is based on his feelings after his parents' divorce.

In a recent press release, Butterworth spoke about the meaning of the title track, Hero, and its intended message. "Hero speaks to a musician's responsibility to intelligently use the platform he's been given, not to use it as an excuse to do whatever he wants." Thanks, Jesse, I couldn't have said it better myself.

The lyrics of 3000 Miles Away are a tribute to major cities across the United States, as well as to the heart that's aching for a love who's miles away.

My favorite song on the CD is the Seth Davis penned Five. Its message is simple and clear: When I get to heaven, I want to enjoy it through the eyes of a child.

On the final track, I Live, the band is joined by label mate Joy Williams for a worship track that could find its way into the worship set lists of local youth groups in the very near future.

What more can be said about Hero, except that you might have a hard time finding a better modern rock recording, and dare I say a better debut, this year in Christian music.

Until Next Time. . .
The J Man