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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Feb
Sounds like … folk/pop with the storytelling spirit of Andrew Peterson and the multifaceted musical style of Josh RouseAt a glance … with a smart, redemptive approach to songwriting and insanely catchy melodies, Eric Peters' Scarce can't help but shineTrack Listing Radiate The Storm Save Something for Grace You Can Be Yourself Kansas Metropolis In the Meantime Tomorrow You Come Over Me Squeeze Long Road (to Nowhere)

From the outset, it's clear that Eric Peters has a love for literature and an ear for a great pop hook. But even more exciting is the way he integrates both into his songwriting on Scarce, an 11-track collection of modern-day folktales set to music that's bright, inventive, and downright catchy.

Hailing from southern Louisiana, Peters has spent more than 10 years on the touring circuit—first with the now-defunct acoustic act, Ridgely, and then on his own, sharing the stage countless times with Caedmon's Call, Bebo Norman, and Andrew Peterson. With those live experiences, not to mention four previous albums, Peters has the skills of a seasoned artist, whether it's the clever wordplay of "Radiate," his thoughts on love's redeeming power on "You Can Be Yourself," or the encouraging honesty of "Tomorrow," something anyone can relate to after a particularly trying time. Seldom in Christian music do you hear sentiment as candid and revealing as this: "I say a prayer tonight/When I find myself alone/Afraid of being known/and holding on for life/It's a paralyzing fear/Cold to the touch yet so sincere." After hearing this, one wishes a few more artists would be willing to deliver such lyrical honesty.

Musically speaking, Scarce isn't as barebones as the title might suggest. Instead of the usual guitar-strumming-singer/songwriter formula, the sound gets punched up with the tasteful integration of piano, mandolin, and a variety of percussion. And thanks to producer Brent Milligan (The Elms, David Crowder Band), the instruments never overshadow what Peters has to say, which is ultimately Scarce's best takeaway value. And while the songs' redemptive themes aren't usually spelled out in explicit terms, part of the fun in the journey is uncovering the deeper meaning in songs like "Kansas," "Metropolis" and "In the Meantime."

"I trust that my songs are interpretative, not instructional," Peters says. "While instruction can be instantaneous and fleeting, interpretation allows for the factor of time: time to heal, time to breathe, time to forgive, time for anger, time for failure, time for success, time to change and time to become."

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