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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Sep
Sounds like … modern rock offering an interesting mix of Fall Out Boy, Simple Plan, and at times, Radiohead's more progressive Kid A era.At a glance … sharper electronic production and improved songcraft give Falling Up a stronger musical identity, and easily make Captiva the band's best work so far.Track Listing A Guide to Marine Life
Hotel Aquarium
Goodnight Gravity
How They Made Cameras
Good Morning Planetarium
Drago of the Dragons
Arc to Archtilles
The Dark Side of Indoor Track Meets

As with the recent projects by Thousand Foot Krutch, Kutless, and Seventh Day Slumber, Captiva finds Falling Up smartly trading in its nü-metal leanings for something a little more current. Surprisingly enough, the resulting change in sound seems to have finally given the band a distinct identity at last.

The songs from the band's 2004 debut Crashings and 2005's Dawn Escapes were catchy enough, but it was difficult to distinguish Falling Up from its peers. By fully embracing the electronic timbres that they've flirted with before, this band has effectively broadened its creative horizons. Tracks like the moody opener "A Guide to Marine Life" and the amped-up rocker "Hotel Aquarium" are the enjoyable fruit of Falling Up's newfound experimentation.

Captiva also marks some lyrical progression for the band. Rather than favoring more straightforward sentiments on life, love, and faith, the band paints more poetic, abstract pictures—the musical equivalent of a Van Gogh piece. On "Helicopters," the band passionately sings about broken dreams, while "Maps" is a moving treatise on the troubles of everyday existence. Similar in structure and theme, "How They Made Cameras" is also a standout moment as frontman Jessy Ribordy sings about how empty life is without a personal relationship with Jesus.

But as proven by Radiohead and other great rock bands, too much abstract lyricism can be as much a hindrance as it is a creative expression. "Murexa" carries some lines so inane, they don't offer enough focus or comprehensible take away: "Things are moving sideways/They are tracing every step/Not waiting for a net/Jumping reckless/Set still surveillance some switch turned on." What in the world is Ribordy trying to say?

Those moments are fortunately few and far between. Captiva is a career-shaping album for Falling Up that's bound to keep people talking.

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