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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

A Heart Like Yours

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2008 1 Sep
A Heart Like Yours
Sounds like … the vocals of Barry Blaze (Code of Ethics) combined with the worshipful style of Starfield, Rush of Fools, By the Tree, and Delirious, somewhat reminiscent of Coldplay and U2At a glance … Sonicflood still can't quite muster a new worship anthem to connect with most modern congregations, but improved production and a handful of standout tracks make A Heart Like Yours the band's best album in yearsTrack Listing Look to Love In Your Presence How It's Supposed to Be Only You Psalm 91 Aiden A Heart Like Yours Whisper in the Wind Back Home Hold Me Now Circles

Who could have expected Sonicflood to last nearly ten years when the original lineup broke up after two? Lead singer Rick Heil has continued to soldier on for the majority of that decade, fronting four of the band's six albums. But as long as press materials continue to tout Sonicflood as a Grammy-nominated worship band with No. 1 radio singles and multi-Platinum album sales, I'm obligated to note that most all of that occurred as result of the two albums fronted by Jeff Deyo. So far, the Heil years have yet to live up to the Deyo years.

Now Sonicflood is continuing without a major label, having parted with INO Records to form their own independent label, Resonate Records. Can a home-spun project such as A Heart Like Yours come close to matching the band's 1999 debut? Maybe not, but parts of it may surprise and impress nonetheless.

What's immediately apparent is the improved sound. Some of that can be attributed to Heil's stronger vocals (now that he's overcome Crohn's disease), which sound identical to Barry Blaze (the mastermind behind Code of Ethics and a worship leader in his own right). But credit also the production that supports him, from bigger drums and thicker bass to more aggressive guitars and an overall Coldplay-meets-U2 ambience. Speaking of which, "Hold Me Now" obviously borrows from the famous riff of Coldplay's "Fix You," but it remains powerfully effective here. This is easily the best Sonicflood has sounded in years.

What's still lacking is compelling worship writing. Some like the heavy-rocking "How It's Supposed to Be" and the ballad "Only You" have potential, but the lyrics are often very routine. Others like "In Your Presence" and the awkwardly titled "Aiden" have good worship lyrics, but their melodies aren't the kind congregations can easily latch on to.

However, there's potential with the scriptural "Psalm 91" and its enjoyable U2 pulse, while "Whisper in the Wind" successfully applies Elijah's encounter with God to a worship song. Veering from the worship focus, the bonus track "Circles" is about trying to set a troubled friend back on the right path, while "Back Home" is a slow alt-pop ballad with some bluesy guitar licks that works better musically outside of the church.

Sonicflood still has a long way to go—particularly in the songwriting department—if they ever hope to resonate with the church like the original version of the band did. Nevertheless, this band has improved with recent albums, and A Heart Like Yours is their best since Sonicflood's first.

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