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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

And the Land of Fake Believe

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 May
And the Land of Fake Believe
Sounds like … the made-for-radio brand of pop/punk made famous by the likes of Blink 182, MxPx, Simple Plan and Relient KAt a glance … in a genre not exactly known for its depth, eleventyseven has plenty of witty (and refreshingly positive) insights about life, love, and growing spirituallyTrack Listing More Than a Revolution A Stellar Sayonara Nostalgiatopia MySpace Here With Me The Unicorn Revolt Anti-Adieu Odd's and Even So's Teenage Heartbreak Yesterday's Glues Reach That Far Saving Grace Tonight

A quick glance at the quirky song titles on eleventyseven's debut might cause someone to believe that he/she's getting a sneak peek at Relient K's next album. Sorry folks, but that's definitely not the case with And the Land of Fake Believe. Despite a penchant for left-of-center, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a similar pop/punk soundtrack, these South Carolina natives definitely have their own thing going here, on what turns out to be a refreshingly strong debut.

Even though the band jokes that it's "barely old enough to vote" on its official website, frontman Matthew Langston and company offer up a rather mature perspective on the ups and downs of teenage life, whether it's the commentary on relationships (namely break-ups) on "A Stellar Sayonara," the notion of not settling for less than what God wants for your life on "Teenage Heartbreak," or the impassioned call for God's strength in the trying times in "Reach That Far."

But in addition to the serious, they aren't afraid to be just plain silly. "Nostalgiatopia" serves as homage to the Brat Pack era where Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club were the pop culture idols of the day, and "MySpace" provides a humorous angle for communicating the timely message on the emptiness of Internet-based relationships. And unlike most pop/punk releases, eleventyseven also manages to distinguish one song from the next by integrating a few slower songs in the mix, plus a few tracks with an unexpected new-wave sensibility reminiscent of The Pet Shop Boys or The Smiths.

It's ultimately this diversity in sound, and a refreshingly optimistic perspective on life and faith, that makes And the Land of Fake Believe not only a great summer soundtrack, but a message worth hearing again and again.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.