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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Spoken

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Oct
  • COMMENTS
Spoken
Sounds like … the hardcore rock of Underoath, P.O.D., and Chevelle, as well as emo-screamo acts like The Bled and As I Lay Dying.At a glance … Spoken demonstrates both musical and lyrical maturity on their self-titled effort.Track Listing History Erased
Close Your Eyes
Not Soon Forgotten
Trading in This Troubled Heart
You're the One
Brought to Life
Long Live the Dream
Start the Revolution
The Meaning Of…
When Hope is All You Have
The Answer

It's an unspoken rule in pop/rock music for bands to lead off their albums with their best track. On their 2007 self-titled effort, Spoken's highlight doesn't arrive until track 4 with the sincere, superbly crafted soul-cry "Trading in This Troubled Heart." Which isn't to say the first three tracks—arguably the loudest of the bunch—aren't worth listening to. They perfectly suit Spoken's hard rock repertoire. But "Trading in the This Troubled Heart" is truly the album's turning point, where the songs transition from predictable good to "I can't believe this is the same band!" good.

In the past, Spoken has made sturdy, serviceable albums that have tended to sound better live than on disc (at least for me). This time around, Matt Baird's tenor really has a chance to shine as the band's energy and overall intensity matches that of their live show, making worshipful rockers like "Long Live the Dream" and "Brought to Life" truly stand out rather than simply blend in with all the others.

Shying away from the spiritual generalities of past efforts really helps, too. Baird's lyrics point the listener to God without resorting to familiar platitudes (most noticeably on "The Answer"). The same could be said of the avant-garde sounding "Start the Revolution." Just when you think you've heard a gazillion songs with that same title and sound, Spoken serves up a rather unique six-and-a-half minute epic that's mostly instrumental, accentuated with poetic lyrics repeated throughout. And the slower paced "You're the One" is also a highlight, a surefire hit for Christian radio with a decidedly upbeat declaration of praise, complemented by a catchy chorus. The versatility in sound and style ultimately makes this album the best yet from Spoken—even if the first song isn't their strongest.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.


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