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Parachute Band Sounds Fresh on Love without Measure

  • Glenn McCarty Contributing Writer
  • 2011 15 Feb
Parachute Band Sounds Fresh on <i>Love without Measure</i>

Artist: Parachute Band
Title: Love without Measure
Label: Integrity Music

With its accessible modern rock sound, global appeal, and universal message, New Zealand worship quintet Parachute Band is a must-listen for anyone missing the passionate worship of the recently-disbanded British rockers Delirious. Granted, that’s quite a comparison, given the latter’s potent mix of musicianship, dramatic flair, and consistent songwriting excellence. But Love without Measure, the third album from what’s dubbed the “next generation” Parachute Band (the original band retired in 2006; this lineup retained the name) contains enough imaginative moments to bring the band into this conversation.

What most evokes the Delirious vibe is Parachute Band’s ability to grow rich, soaring arrangements out of the tiniest seeds. And tracks like “Peace on Earth” and “The Redeemed” are the best evidence of this thesis on Measure. “The Redemed” begins with a repeated single piano keystroke—think Snow Patrol—and blossoms at the song’s two-minute mark into a full-fledged anthem with militaristic drumrolls and swelling strings. While the songs themselves don’t stretch on interminably, they have a certain way of unfolding organically into pulse-pounding finales that’s satisfying. And, of course, there’s the guest appearance of former Delirious front-man Martin Smith, who contributes vocals on “It’s You.” During Smith’s verse, one imagines it’s just another Delirious song. Lead singer Omega Levine is well suited to these types of songs. He has a smoky, Michael Tait-type voice with a little cheekiness behind it that makes one think he’s having a ripping time behind the microphone. That’s never a bad sign.

Elsewhere, opening track “Gave it All” is an excellent choice as an album introduction. Electronic beeps and blurps give way to chunky guitars on a hooky chorus. “My Constant” is full throttle fun, with a fist-in-the-air attitude and just enough imagination in the twists and turns of the arrangement so as to not be predictable.

That seems to be the name of the game on Measure: to construct instantly accessible worship anthems with listen-twice production. That’s a credit to the band, which self-produced this album. Although they have a reputation for touring incessantly, the band sounds fresh and hungry throughout. It adds up to a winning album that won’t just appeal to those seeking another collection of worship songs.