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Until June

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Apr
Until June
Sounds like … the melodic piano pop of The Fray, The Swift, and Ben Folds Five coupled with the Brit pop of Keane and Coldplay.At a glance … piano-based trio Until June offers irresistible melodies and pop hooks a plenty on a debut effort that's seeker friendly for the mainstream, yet spiritual enough for the Christian market.Track Listing Sleepless
What I've Done
The Saddest Song
All I Have
Outer Space
Don't Walk Away
This City
You Do

What The Fray would be if they were more open with their faith in their songwriting, and what The Swift could be if they broadened their creative horizons, swimming in familiar Coldplay Brit pop ambience. That's the impression I'm left with after hearing Until June, a trio originally from Phoenix that transplanted to Los Angeles to make it big. After trying for four years to get noticed, they finally inked a deal with Flicker Records and Sony, though initial distribution is only to the mainstream market.

And, initially, that makes sense, because this band loves seeker-friendly songwriting, from regret over lost love ("Sleepless," "Don't Walk Away," "Outer Space") to universal feelings of loneliness ("Unnoticed"). However, while depicting someone's final dying thoughts, "This City" directly refers to the Lord and the hope of heaven, and "You Do" clearly reveals whose love is behind the lyrics: "It's hard for me to understand how you could die for me when I fall short sometimes." In the same way, "What I've Done" offers a rather clear-cut confessional as testament to grace, while "The Saddest Song" expresses God's longing for a relationship with us.

Their writing is fine, if not somewhat simplistic, but Until June is more commendable for hook-filled piano-based pop driven by irresistible melodies, playful harmonies, and some cool guitar work by Dan Ballard that's somewhere between Jon Buckland (Coldplay) and Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac). Josh Ballard's pinched vocal could be an acquired taste (think NeedToBreathe's Bear Rinehart crossed with Frankie Valli), but the guy can sure hit those falsetto notes. With most of the songs running under three minutes, this is a short half-hour album that would have benefited from further fleshed out songwriting and instrumentation. Regardless, Until June charms with easy-to-digest ear candy sure to please both sacred and secular markets.

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