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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Aug
Sounds like … the sugar sweet sounds of Hilary Duff, Stacie Orrico and Jump 5's more mature material, combined with three-part harmonies a la ZOEgirlAt a glance … this self-titled debut is filled with booming production, but the material isn't anything that hasn't been heard before. Track Listing"Heaven Open Your Eyes""Take a Ride""I'm Over It""Evidence""Lead the Way""Save Me""Even When""Set Me Free""Getting Closer""Angels Cry"

The three young sisters who make up Everlife—Amber, 20, on guitar and vocals; Sarah, 16, on piano and vocals; Julia, 14, on lead vocals—have been in music ministry since Christmas 1997, playing all over the U.S. (frequently playing festivals) while also visiting Central and South America. They caught the eye of Tovah Records and primary producer/songwriter Kevan Cyka, known for his work with Hilary Duff, Avalon and Jump5.

Cyka's expertise is the primary factor that carries this self-titled release; his slick skills and sharp ear for mainstream trends are dead on. Tunes like "Heaven Open Your Eyes" (a ripoff of dc Talk's "Jesus Freak"), "I'm Over It," and "Take a Ride" (originally from Jonfulton's strong-yet-ignored debut) are loaded with sweet pop arrangements, along with live guitars and drums, fitting somewhere in between the bubble gummy Duff and edgy Avril Lavigne. Additional production help by Dan Needham (Stacie Orrico, Steven Curtis Chapman) bring out danceable rhythms on "Set Me Free" and "Even When," both of which also showcase soulful instrumental elements.

However, despite the lead vocals not being pumped up with mechanical processing, the harmonies sound generic at best, as do the disc's power ballads. Belters like "Evidence," "Save Me" and "Angels Cry" may be meaningful to their target audience, but are otherwise unimpressive and commonplace in the modern pop scene. Though the disc certainly has a chance for some strong singles, those looking for better all around packages may want to check out the latest albums by Orrico and Rachael Lampa.