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Parables, Prayers, and Songs
Artist: Seeds
Label:  Grrr Records
Length:  14 tracks / 63:40 minutes

Seeds' first album was a low-key acoustic exercise with mostly female vocals, and moved between light
versions of classical, Latin, folk, Celtic, friendly midwestern, and adult contemporary styles. They
projected a bit of a '70s CCM vibe, but not too strongly. They also had slight touches of flute, percussion, mandolin, and so forth, but not enough to make it very interesting.

Their sophomore album is more acoustic guitar based tunes, but with more upbeat, confident songs than
the last one. They've consciously gone for a more '70s CCM rock (but still acoustic) sound, along with
other noticeable influences like The Eagles. Add a pinch of blues and even a world beat instrumental,
and you've got pleasant, worshipful background music for the over-30 set. Production is very clean and
well-done.  I have no idea if Seeds capture the flavor of what was around then, as I was just a baby, but much of it sounds like an extra talented group of singers and musicians at any youthful modern church service or college group these days. Which makes sense, since our typical worship songs these days were written in the '70s or by songwriters who grew up in that era of CCM pioneering. 

Seeds' songs are plagued by some generic Christian phrasing, but that should work in favor of their
intended audience. They've got a sincerity and innocence not often found in music these days, which
is perhaps the greatest testimony they could give to the decade they wish they lived in.

Josh Spencer   06/17/2000


 
 

Josh Spencer, contributing senior associate editor for The Phantom Tollbooth for over two years, is also publisher and editor-in-chief of spiritual pop culture webzine Stranger Things.  Reviews and articles by him are usually simultaneously published in some form at http://www.strangerthingsmag.com.

Bright, multi-colored, all happy and earnest expressions on the faces evoke memories of some of the first Jesus rock albums from the late 60's, but this is no exercise in nostalgia. The members of Seeds spend as many words in their promotional material explaining their day jobs contributing to a successful 25-year-old Christian community as they do their music. These are Jesus people playing Jesus music!

On Parables, Prayers, and Songs, Seeds has lost some of the rough alternative edges making for smoother listening. The first album sounded like it was recorded in one of their dormitory hallways but this time it sounds like a high quality studio production that would fit comfortably in your CD player with the best Nashville has to offer. The harmonies, instrumentation and lyrics reach levels commercial Christian music can only dream of. There is "Shalom" with its impressive, close, light harmonies. Then there is the one authentic tie to the original Jesus music--a cover of "Blue Water" written by their neighbor Glenn Kaiser for Resurrection Band. The many solo ballads slow down the pace of this CD, but every member of this  large group is very talented and worthy of a feature or two.

Linda LaFianza 07/11/2000

 

   
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