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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews


  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2000 1 Jan

A young band from Texas with two independent projects under their belts, Forty Days was the band that was playing at Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, when the tragic 1999 shooting occurred. Despite the painful event, the members of Forty Days have seen their faith grow as a result of it, birthing two of the songs for their first national project, Everyday, in the process. Forty Days is also well known as an opening act for such bands as Caedmon's Call, Sonicflood, and Third Day. No doubt this is part of the reason Third Day's lead singer Mac Powell is making his production debut with this album.

So how do they sound? Well, Forty Days is pretty much straightforward roots rock/pop, similar to bands like The Waiting, FFH, and a little bit of Jars of Clay. But there are plenty of Christian roots rock bands that do this better: the aforementioned bands plus Smalltown Poets, Big Tent Revival, and yes, Third Day, to name a few. What might set Forty Days apart from other bands, however, is their penchant for praise; most all the songs on Everyday are directed toward God. They're kind of like an organic version of SonicFlood or Delirious.

Eight of the songs are originals written by the band members. The best two are "Long Way Home" (which sounds like old Delirious) and "Everyday" (which sounds a little like new Delirious). The latter is an especially poignant tune, written for when they returned to Wedgwood. And though it's obviously about dealing with the aftermath of that tragedy, it also serves as a word of encouragement to anyone who's feeling down or spiritually drained, telling us we can depend on God to get us through. Interestingly enough, the two worst tracks on the album are the cover tunes. There's a lackluster version of the popular modern praise song "Hungry" that just doesn't measure up to the original. And then there's the cover of the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows." Forty Days' version of the classic is a little too true to the original for this album. If they were truly an eclectic sounding band, this would fit in nicely. But since the rest of the album is standard acoustic rock and guitar strumming, this track really sticks out like a sore thumb.

I just can't quite give Everyday a glowing recommendation, because it's too much like other Christian projects out there. The musicianship overall is pretty mediocre (with the possible exception of Drue Phillips' fancy bass work), and the songs just don't have enough to grab your attention. The majority of the album has a muddy-sounding, independent recording quality to it — it's just not up to the sound or performance quality of a major release from a label like Benson. Yet, despite all this, there's still something kind of appealing about Everyday. It's simple, unassuming, and sometimes pleasant feel-good praise rock, and there's a genuine heart for God in the lyrics. Furthermore, it's mostly a collection of worship music — fairly good praise & worship in fact, which rivals most of the praise & worship being released today. It wouldn't surprise me if we saw some of these songs become popular in youth worship across the country. There's potential here, Forty Days, so keep writing and hang in there!