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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Singing Back to You

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Oct
Singing Back to You
Sounds like … worshipful, piano-based pop/rock similar to Coldplay and Keane, as well as Delirious and Chris TomlinAt a glance … The Swift was better off doing piano pop a la Keith Green and Ben Folds rather than doing routine modern worship influenced by Brit rockTrack Listing Love Song Rain Down Nothing But the Blood Salvation Is Here Make You Known Your Name What the World Will Never Take When the Tears Fall Always Been With Me At the Feet of Jesus

Note to up-and-coming Christian artists looking for inspiration: find new bands to copy. U2 has been done to death, and now Coldplay and Keane are becoming just as overused. Trust me, I enjoy those bands as much as the next Brit rock fan, but it's time for some new influences. Pleeeease.

Let me explain. The Swift had something different going on with its first two national releases, and I mean that in a good way. Not many acts in Christian music combined the evangelical emphasis of Keith Green's inspirational pop with the bouncy piano bravado of Ben Folds, matched with clever lyrical turns of phrase. And while I'm all for experimentation in sound and style, never expecting a band to remain the same with each album, an album of worship covers like Singing Back to You isn't exactly a step forward.

Admittedly, their electronically tinged rendition of Hillsong United's "What the World Will Never Take" does have its charm. But the lackluster moments outweigh the creative ones, especially with the blasé opener "Love Song," a track that could be sung by any number of AC artists like Casting Crowns, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Third Day, and a plodding version of the Delirious anthem "Rain Down" is also unnecessary. Things do pick up with a promising arrangement of Matt Redman's "Nothing But the Blood" that resembles what The Swift do best. Now if we just had a few more tracks like these, the band's Rocketown debut really would be something inspiring.

But instead The Swift seems to have lost its identity with this release. The once-charming piano has been overshadowed by a guitar-driven style we've already heard countless times from other worship bands. And given the group's unique potential for faith-based fun on previous efforts, that's a real shame.

© Christa Banister, subject to licensing agreement with Christianity Today International. All rights reserved. Click for reprint information.