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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Hear Us Say Jesus

  • reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Oct
Hear Us Say Jesus
Sounds like … a vertically slanted project steeped in the melodic sensibility of Telecast, the quieter side of Holland and the poppy side of Sanctus Real. At a glance … Seven Places veers away from its pop/punk base for a more distinguished and meaty musical foundation with a deeper commitment to evangelism. Track ListingFall in LineWatchEven WhenPerspectiveI Look Upon Your HillWe're Almost ThereLay It DownSomeday GoSee The Rain (Go Away)Be My SalvationAll in My HeadHoles in His Hands

Just over a year ago, Oregon-based punk rockers Seven Places achieved a three-fold dream: They joined the Tooth and Nail label group, worked with producer Aaron Sprinkle and released their debut, Lonely For the Last Time. The experience brought the guys out beyond the local area to national touring, including a summer stint with Jeremy Camp and Sanctus Real.

There've been a number of changes since the first album, including some shifts in the lineup (though its key nucleus remains intact). The sound has gone from high-octane pop/punk to more mature and melodic alternative rock. And, as the title of this new CD implies, there's more of an emphasis on ministry and evangelism. The lead cut "Fall In Line" repeats the line "here us say Jesus" multiple times, setting the thematic tone of the record. From there, Seven Places weaves thoughts of reaching the lost, affirming believers and admitting their own mistakes.

Musically, songs like "Even When" and "We're Almost There" glide with much tamer and more focused guitar patterns than past material, carried by husky harmonies and almost surf-worthy cheer. "I Look Upon Your Hill" features calm piano parts bathed in acoustic rhythms, while "Be My Salvation" melds an airy indie rock personality with an altar call-worthy prayer of forgiveness. For a group that could've easily copied MTV regulars like Simple Plan or Blink-182, this is a satisfying new direction that will prove to be much more beneficial in the long run.