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Article One

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 May
Article One
Sounds like … a mix of The Fray and a more organic Switchfoot, along with a touch of MercyMe and the softer pop-friendly side of Dave Matthews Band.At a glance … offering a mix of openly sacred and vaguely secular songs, Canadian trio Article One is off to a good start with a relatively fresh and accessible pop/rock sound.Track Listing Slow Down
Say It Again
In No Time at All
Hold Onto Me
Heaven Let Me Know
Still at a Green
So Many Ways to Say Goodbye
Dream October
Run (Shattered and Twisted)
Confetti Smile

With parents who were both music teachers—the father also an experienced Christian recording artist and worship leader—it's only natural that brothers Nathan and Matt Piché would somehow follow in their footsteps. So along with Dave De Smit, they formed Article One, taking their name from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights featured on U2's Vertigo tour, which states that we're all born equal and should therefore treat each other equally. It's the Canadian trio's way of reminding themselves of Jesus' command to love others, while also reflecting their desire to reach Christian and secular audiences alike.

One thing that will help them do that is the relatively distinctive sound of their self-titled debut, combining three-part harmonies with piano-based pop/rock, colored by Matt's violin throughout. It's very much like The Fray crossed with a more organic Switchfoot, with a touch of MercyMe and the lighter, pop-friendly side of Dave Matthews Band.

Though there's Christian inspiration behind most every track on the album, the spirituality is usually subtle, making the album accessible to secular audiences (and perhaps frustrating for those who prefer overt faith expressions). There are songs about the uncertainty of life ("In No Time at All"), broken dreams ("Run"), and being realistic with pursuits ("Slow Down"). "Dream October" offers regret over a failed relationship, while "Say It Again" expresses the need to show love to one another. Catchy "Still at a Green" cleverly expresses fear and hesitation, while the band seeks to remain genuine in spite of celebrity with "Confetti Smile."

"Hold Onto Me" still makes reference to the "man who walked on waves" and "lifted the dead up from graves." The first single "Heaven Let Me Know" openly asks God for direction, and "So Many Ways to Say Goodbye" takes comfort in the hope of heaven after the unexpected death of a friend. All in all, the fresh sound and personable songwriting mark a good start for Article One, who are well on their way to developing into something special.

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