Volume & Density
- reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Nov
- All in Your Hands
- Way Deep Inside
- What It Is
- Between the Lines
- I'll Be Around
- Gimme Some Light
- Taking Me Home
- Standing at the Door
- Where I Belong
- Jesus Never Leaves Me
Rewind to the mid 1990s: The Smoking Popes, a power-pop band from Chicago, appeared on soundtracks for
In 1998, lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist Josh Caterer became a Christian, leading him to disband the Smoking Popes because he was uncomfortable singing about melancholy romance: "God changed all my priorities. I wanted to express these things through our music, but it just wasn't working." Caterer took a nearly three-year sabbatical from rock to refocus himself, releasing an EP of acoustic gospel songs and often playing guitar with the worship band at Harvest Bible Chapel in the Chicago suburbs.
He returned to rock in 2001 when he formed Duvall (named for actor Robert Duvall from Caterer's favorite film,
Duvall's power pop sound is established immediately with "All in Your Hands," as Caterer sings, "I don't know where to start/You pulled apart my life and breathed new life/Into my heart when I met you/I long to be more true." In "What It Is," he outlines the change of heart experienced in coming to know Christ: "Oh, you've got eternity in your heart/A hole the size of the universe inside/And it's tearing you apart." Later, he sings of surrender in "Taking Me Home": "Once in a dream I saw your face shining before me/What could I do but fall down?/I'm waking up now and I'm laying it all down." And then there's "Where I Belong": "I know that you're the only hope/I'm found in you now/I know the word you've spoken is forever true now/I've waited all my life for love so strong."
"Way Deep Inside" is more evangelistic, an upbeat punk-like praise song that finds Caterer unable to contain the joy in his heart. "Between the Lines" is a soaring rock ballad that encourages others to discover the joy of God's love, and the jangle rock of "I'll Be Around" is written to a friend still on the fence concerning Christianity. There's also the sweet romance of "Racine," as well as a very enjoyable rock remake of Spandau Ballet's cheesy '80s hit "True," given deeper spiritual meaning through a few lyrical modifications.