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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
The Echoing Green have turned over a new leaf in their 8 year career offering a brand new set of guitar driven electronica music. On Supernova, the group sounds less like a machine and more like a band; similar to how fans would see them perform in concert.
This project also signifies a new life as the group makes their debut on Red Hill Records. Group founder Joey Belville is joined by vocalist Chrissy Franklin, programmer Jesse Dworak, and drummer David Adams, giving this project a Pet Shop Boys meets Duran Duran 80s styled feel.
The opening track, the disc's title cut, starts off the album with a bang. The tune rises in volume as it goes on with guitar-based riffs, proving right from the get go the group's evolution. The disc is also different in that it features a ballad called "Waterfall," also an uncommon occurrence on an Echoing Green album.
More true to their past are tune's like "Head Over Heart (Yesterday's Taking Over)" and the album's finale "Nightfall and Splendor." Lyrically, this disc is the group's most mature effort as well. For instance "Nightfall and Splendor" combines simplicity and poignancy.
"When the waters of my soul threaten to run dry, there your power holds…turning the tide."
The song "Liberation" speaks of hope coming from a dark period in one's life by completely surrendering to God's will.
"The weight of a good day gone black. The weight of a heart under attack. This is where I stop pretending that I'm not in need of mending…and let it go."
Despite all of the positive changes, the group may have a hard time getting out of the starting blocks, due to their new record label that's significantly smaller then their former home at Five Minute Walk.
Andy Argyrakis 9/16/2000
Joey Belville is beloved
by his fans, who he insists should be known as friends rather than fans.
There are good reasons for this: he's known as "the nicest guy in Christian
music." He is exceedingly available to these
All this good guy stuff would
only go so far if the music wasn't cuttingthe mustard. Fortunately, Belville
and his cohorts (Chrissy Franklin on vocals, Jesse Dworak on programming
and David Adams on drums and
Supernova is also a triumph of the technical savvy of the band, which offered two tracks ("Supernova" and "She's Gone Tragic") on mp3.com before the CD was released, thus building buzz for the album ahead of time. Nothing makes a prospective consumer want to buy a CD more than hearing a supercharged song like "Supernova," which is arguably the CD's best track.
As on many of their albums, The Echoing Green offers a new version of an old favorite; in this case, it's a bass-heavy version of "Defender" and a loop-laden rendition of "Thief." YMMV on these -- some will love them, and some will prefer older versions. Those longtime fans who love new versions of old songs may argue that Supernova is a step down from the high-water mark that is The Evergreen Collection, but that might be splitting hairs -- this is a very good CD in its own right.
Although the prerelease CD offers no lyrics or writing credit, Supernova is clearly due mainly to Joey's writing abilities, both musically and lyrically. Longtime fans will agree; it just sounds like Belville. And that's a very good thing.
Unfortunately, the CD suffered
from distribution problems early on: the street date was set at September
19, but Pamplin failed to get it to stores by then. Those willing to do
the footwork were able to find the CD within a
Lisa Reid 10/5/2000