Artist:  Shaun Groves
Title:  "White Flag"
Label:  Rocketown

In a rock & roll world that is often swagger over substance, Shaun Groves chooses to spotlight a sermon, nuggets from the Beatitudes, on his latest release, "White Flag." The result is Shaun’s best record to date – sure to plant a few seeds and spawn a few hits.

From the get-go, Shaun comes out swinging with “What’s Wrong With This World,” an explosive number with Jimmy Eat World written all over it – which would have set the tone for the whole record, were it not for the second “Sad Song," a slower ditty that sounds like he took a nap on his piano (a sequencing mishap).

That’s OK, though. “Amen” kick-starts the party again while “White Flag” and “Crave” help the record find its groove – upbeat, up-tempo guitar-driven songs that are radio friendly and well-produced, yet not overly so. This is Shaun’s first outing as skipper, and it suits him.

The lion’s share of these songs are good, yet the lyrics are better, suggesting a gift for teaching on Shaun’s part. The liner notes can function as a crutch for some of these songs, which are not easily digested on a first listen. There’s no spoon-feeding here. And maybe that’s good. The record ends on an acoustic note and adds a sensitive touch to an uncompromising message.

In short, "White Flag" is more of a debut than a renaissance. And regardless of how well it does on the charts, Shaun’s career as a Bible teacher seems to be on the upswing.


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