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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Listening EP

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2004 1 Jul
The Listening EP
Sounds like … the fusion rock worship of Delirious with the creative art rock ambience of Pink Floyd and RadioheadAt a glance … this EP features a considerably changed band roster with a stronger and more aggressive art rock ambience that bodes well for the Circus' next full-length projectTrack ListingAre We Listening(untitled)I Love the RainLike I DoThe Way That Love Is MadeDead Man

This is not quite the Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus you remember. Lead vocalist and guitarist Gabriel Wilson remains at the heart and lead guitarist Solo Greely is back after taking time off for marriage. But Zurn and Gabriel's wife Blurr both left the group to plug back into family life, leaving empty slots for drums and keyboards. Turns out replacement guitarist Eric "The E" Lemiere is also a terrific replacement drummer, and the band has recruited longtime friend Josiah Sherman to take over on keyboards.

Enter The Listening EP, a five-song, 24-minute sampling of the new line-up, originally intended as a "fans only project" to sell at concerts on a UK tour with Delirious. Except no one expected response for it to be as strong as it has been. The new band members have added additional creative spark, opting for more of a dark, indie rock ambience instead of the novelty classic-rock-meets-worship sound of their previous two efforts. Think Delirious meets Pink Floyd and White Album Beatles with some Radiohead and Cool Hand Luke thrown in.

Still melodic and atmospheric, the drums are now punchier with keyboards that are more creatively employed, not to mention more impressive and explosive guitar work than ever. Standouts include the extremely Floyd-like expression of grace "I Love the Rain," and the magnetic progressive guitar rock of "(untitled)." Though these songs aren't as vertical or corporate in scope as the band's best-known songs, it's no less worshipful, glorifying God in more modern and creative ways that resemble the Psalms.

Everyone involved seems to think this is the right direction for the Worship Circus, and I'm inclined to agree. It's some of their strongest material yet, and assuming they keep the line-up consistent for once, it bodes well for their 2005 release.