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A View for Opened Eyes
Artist: McKendree Augustas
Label: (c)2008 independent

McKendree, formerly a native of Southeast Georgia, has accomplished quite a lot since he moved to Nashville a few of years back.  He’s toured with Jeff Deyo,  Britt Nicole, and is currently on tour with SonicFlood, and in the midst of the madness he still made time to write and record a debut cd worth being very proud of.

Honestly, I’m not exactly sure what to compare McKendree’s sound to.  He’s got the ghostly electronics of Radiohead, the wide open atmosphere of Coldplay, with the pounding piano of Ben Folds, and the worshipful lyrics of John Mark McMillan, and at least a peripheral awareness of emo-guitar, all mixed into a creative, original, & refreshing debut.

By far the stand-out is “Beautiful.“  The melody line is original enough to keep you guessing, but still has hook.  The chorus is simple and singable.  The music builds slowly, with the addition and subtraction of instruments sometimes from one line to the next.  With the right people behind it, combined with a good music video, I’m convinced it could be a hit single - not only in ‘Christian’ radio, but a ‘cross-over’ hit.  Yes, it’s that good.
 

A few other stand-outs are are the two corporate worship songs; “Attention“ and  “Strength to Carry On.“  Though the first verse of “Attention” is a bit hard to grasp at first, the rest of the song is the sort that a whole room of people can quickly latch onto, as is all of “Strength to Carry On,“ which I’ve already led at our youth service.

There are some places that may lose the casual listener.  For one, the intro song - “Proemial” - is likely going to turn away some, particularly those not already familiar with McKendree’s more accessible songs.  That said, this c.d. is only a glimmer of what he is capable of (I’ve heard it ALL), and is a shimmering sign of what is to come.  

A View is well worth picking up, and will leave you wanting to hear more from McKendree in the future.

Shannon Lewis
 

 
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