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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Balancing Act

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Feb
The Balancing Act
Sounds like … a mix of art rock and Indie rock that recalls Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Starflyer 59 and Muse.At a glance … while the new tracks are promising, this collection is suited more for the diehard fan than a newbie.Track Listing The Balancing Act
So Shall It Be
Wonder Tour
Case of Emergency
10 or 40
A Thank You
This Is Love
One Time
I'm Not Ready
Rest for the Weary
A Floating Smile

Although the band borrowed its name from the classic Paul Newman flick, Cool Hand Luke has proven to be one of Christian music's most original acts since the band's stellar 2003 debut, Wake Up, O Sleeper. Devoid of the usual Christian radio cliché s and armed with a dreamy art rock soundscape, the band has consistently written thought-provoking, thoroughly enjoyable songs, especially on its exquisite sophomore release The Fires of Life.

But with a busy tour schedule of nearly 300 shows a year, the group faced burnout and "some personal difficulties," so they took a year-long hiatus to re-group. But surprisingly, that didn't necessarily keep singer Mark Nicks from pursuing music, though. After playing drums for hardcore act The Chariot, Nicks hit the road with Thrice, where he shared the story of Uganda's "invisible children" (to learn more check out www.invisiblechildren.com.) Then, after a long break, the band began headlining shows again in 2006, which brings us to The Balancing Act. Billed as a retrospective of sorts, the project is a mix of mostly old tracks in a more stripped-down form and a few new tracks that were either recorded before the band's Floodgate debut or in the last year.

While new songs like the gorgeous, piano-driven title track and the lushly crafted, Starflyer-esque "Wonder Tour" definitely showcase the band's strengths of songcraft and melody, the remainder of the tracks merely feel thrown together in an effort to tide longtime fans over until the next proper release.

But for the oh-so-devoted music fan, The Balancing Act will certainly round out your Cool Hand Luke collection. As a bonus, there are some pretty extensive liner notes that detail the band's history.

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