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This Providence

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Sep
This Providence
Sounds like … varied power pop/punk and emo rock similar to The All-American Rejects, Panic! at the Disco, Mae, Taking Back Sunday, and Duvall. At a glance … This Providence offers a familiar sound, but they build upon it with strong musicianship, some stylistic variation, and thoughtful lyricism that communicates Christian themes to a broader audience.Track Listing A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing
Card House Dreamer
Secret Love and the Fastest Way to Loneliness
My Beautiful Rescue
Losing Control
… But What Will They Say?
Anything Is Possible
The Road to Jericho Is Lined with Starving People
Walking on Water
An Ocean Between
The Pursuit of Happiness: The 1st Movement
The Pursuit of Happiness: The 2nd Movement

Hailing from Seattle's suburbs, This Providence has been at it since 2003, gradually developing their craft through heavy touring while releasing an EP and a debut album. It was enough to earn them a strong following on the road, as well as the attention of the Fueled By Ramen label, home to some of today's most popular emo/punk/power pop bands (Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco).

Which is precisely what makes This Providence an interesting anomaly—an unabashedly Christian band on a decidedly secular label. One glance at the song titles should be enough for most believers to see where these guys are coming from, but the lyrics themselves are even more forthright. References to God and faith abound on this self-titled sophomore effort, yet they're expressed subtly enough to meet the seeker's comfort zone.

"Secret Love and the Fastest Way to Loneliness" reflects the wisdom of Proverbs 5 concerning the adulteress, while "The Road to Jericho" builds on imagery from the Good Samaritan parable to challenge us to love better. There's also a desperate heart cry to God ("Losing Control"), joy from newfound faith ("Walking on Water"), and a marvelously poetic expression of brokenness finding love through Jesus ("My Beautiful Rescue").

This Providence has a punchy power pop and emo rock sound that's as well produced as you'll find, and it even ventures into some acoustic pop ("My Beautiful Rescue") and Beatle-esque ("The Road to Jericho…"). If there's a drawback, it's that the band seems a little late to the party with so many similar-styled acts already out there. But while they don't bring much new to the scene, they handle it better than most by offering stylistic variation and building upon a relevant sound with thoughtful, spiritual lyricism. This album is a shining example of how to communicate Christian themes to a broader audience without compromising the message, and one that deserves the full attention of Christian rock fans.

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