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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jul
Sounds like … alternative pop and guitar rock with a smidge of emo, sort of like Death Cab for Cutie crossed with Relient K, Coldplay, and newer tracks from Dashboard ConfessionalAt a glance … former Falling Up guitarist Joe Kisselburgh is likeable enough as The Send, but there's not quite enough in the music and lyrics to make this debut a breakthrough.Track Listing Need
An Epiphany
Blocking the Sun
The Fall
The Science of the Sky
Dawn and Dusk
Fire Colors
In Repose

It's not that guitarist Joe Kisselburgh ever had a falling out with Falling Up. He simply was unsure if he wanted to pursuing a career in music. After leaving the band in 2006 to take time off for self-reflection, he decided he did—only as his own artist. In the year that followed, he wrote and recorded a number of songs, playing most of the instruments himself (except for drums and some keyboards).

Now the 20-year-old is back, touring with a new band of musicians dubbed The Send, referring to the artistic process from Kisselburgh's mind to the listener's ears. Their debut Cosmos comes to us through Tooth & Nail Records, meaning Aaron Sprinkle is in the producer's chair, and it's a good fit. Blending melodic guitar rock with subdued alt-pop ambience and a smidge of emo, The Send resembles Death Cab for Cutie with echoes of Relient K and Coldplay.

Kisselburgh strikes a nice balance in expressing seeker-friendly heart-cries to God—sometimes clear-cut, sometimes subtle. Unfortunately, the titles are usually more interesting than the lyrics themselves, which tend to fall into three categories: God's omnipresence, God's unconditional love, and our need for God. Though "The Science of the Sky" sounds evocative and poetic, it's routinely in search of a sign: "Speak to me and you know that I'll be listening." Some of the metaphors are too abstract for their own good, like the wandering heart of "In Repose": "Just as a bleeding wound dies/I found a road, and left home/And as the mountain is high/I took your tears and went on." Pretty, but huh?

The album has its moments. Confessional "Dawn and Dusk" has some kick with its rhythmic syncopation, "Fire Colors" poignantly likens life's changes to seasonal foliage, and "Say" has a catchy melody. But for the most part, Cosmos is merely likeable and familiar, not groundbreaking or unforgettable, though Kisselburgh still has enough going for him as The Send to stick with this direction.

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