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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andree Farias Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2005 1 Oct
Sounds like … classic pop/rock reminiscent of PFR, Russ Taff, Randy Stonehill and Michael W. Smith, but performed with a more contemporary feelAt a glance … not the album of covers it could have been, Timeless still offers some interesting takes on familiar and obscure CCM classicsTrack ListingYour Love Broke ThroughShut De DoMy TributeArms of LoveWe Will StandI'm ForgivenOne More Song for YouSecret AmbitionThe Living YearsLove for a LifetimeI See You

One of Christian music's original boy bands, The Katinas have long remained sorely underrated. In the late '90s, Gotee Records saw the promise and talent of the Samoan brothers and gave them rein to release four albums, all as varied in scope as the members' personalities, dabbling in everything from adult contemporary and soaring balladry to rock and pop-inflected R&B.

For the most part, the mixing-and-matching has worked for them, but who would've thought The Katinas had such affinity for '80s CCM? With Timeless—their first album for BHT Entertainment—the sibling quintet shows their age by putting their own spin on a number of Christian pop classics. Songs by such icons as The Imperials, Amy Grant, Russ Taff, Andrae Crouch, Randy Stonehill, and others are all given a modern facelift while remaining faithful to the source material.

Many of these renditions could be deemed as straightforward, classicized pop-rock numbers, at times recalling the sense of melody of PFR or The Beatles, but contemporized to sound like the grandiose contemporary pop of modern-day Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman. "Your Love Broke Through," "Arms of Love," and "One More Song for You" all follow this rousing, climactic mold, quite different from the stripped-down, unassuming simplicity of the originals. At times the experiments don't work too well, as in their sped-up, pop-rock take of Crouch's "My Tribute," or their tedious reinvention of Rich Mullins' "I See You," both of which are better in their original form.

There's also a lack of context in the liner notes as to why the group chose to do an album of covers, or why certain songs were selected, such as Mike + the Mechanics' 1988 non-CCM hit "The Living Years." This, combined with the good-not-great arrangements, unfortunately strips the project of the Timeless-ness that The Katinas were aiming for.

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