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Faint Not
Artist: Jenny & Tyler
Time: 11 songs/48 minutes

If you haven't heard of Jenny & Tyler Somers until now, wait another couple of years, because I have a feeling these two are on the verge of breaking through to mainstream success in the Christian music industry.  Their latest release, Faint Not, is their third full-length and shows a good range of folk and rock influences as well as some solid songwriting chops.

The album kicks things off with one of my two favorite songs here, "Song for You," a powerful and emotional tune that speaks from God's perspective:

I have done for you
everything my love
hear My song for you
I will not hold my tongue
open your heart, open your heart
for I have loved you from the start

The way this song built to a crashing crescendo featuring the above chorus gave me chills.  It's a great song that I have already given several repeat listens.  My other favorite tune is "Psalm 46" where Jenny channels Alison Krauss while accompanied by Tyler's backing vocals and some gentle acoustic guitar.  It's a great song that reminds you of God's sovereignty over everything as well as how much He cares for each one of us.

There are other good songs here as well, such as the title track, another powerful, thought-provoking number, and there's also "This is Just So Beautiful" which will please every Jack Johnson fan out there.  However, there are a couple of tracks, "Dreaming of Peace" and "Carry Me," both good songs with strong lyrics, but each one is overproduced to the point that they sound to me like mainstream country music, and that's just a sound that I have no real affinity for.  They do manage to flash some old school country on "Anchored in Love" which reminded me a lot of Buddy and Julie Miller.

 This was my introduction to Jenny & Tyler, so I haven't had an opportunity yet to explore their two previous full-length albums.  But based on the strength of this release, I know I will make the time to check them out.  If you're a fan of any of the other artists I've listed here or just folk rock in general, I know you will enjoy the music on Faint Not.  The great music combined with their powerful and often thought-provoking lyrics provides for a highly stimulating mental and emotional experience, and you can't ask for more than that.

 You can find them on iTunes and also at www.jennyandtylermusic.com

Eric Landfried  3/7/11



ďFaint Not chronicles our journey of faith, from Godís pursuit of us, to first believing, to the really high highs and the really low lows; itís an honest telling of our relationship with the Lord and with each other.Ē This is how Jenny describes this most recent release from Jenny and Tyler on their website. Faint Not is exactly that, and it is accomplished with great artistry.

The songs on this release contain a mix of challenging, devotional, and personal themes. And the challenging songs are indeed challenging. From the title cut "Faint Not":

The problemís not a gun, not a color, not a hundred dollar bill
We think the struggle can be won with simple thoughts like 'come together be good willed
The gap between the rich and poor is spreading out all the more or so they say
We ignore the claims

However, the challenge is followed by encouragement:

O my soul, faint not, no
Faint not, o my soul, keep up, up
In love

Faint Not is about being honest regarding what it means to live in a broken world. It is also about turning  to the Lord for hope, strength, and grace. The lyrics throughout take us on this journey and are always superb with flashes of brilliance.

The production is exquisite. Production that adds to musical experience and is never cluttered. You can hear and feel the care that went into this recording. Jenny and Tylerís vocals complement each other as they share the lead vocals throughout. This variety is a real strength. The music style is folk based rock with diverse instrumentation and always interesting.

It would be hard to overstate just how good this record is. Every listen reveals something new. Jenny and Tyler are deserving of wider recognition and hopefully Faint Not will be a huge step in that direction. But even without wider recognition, this recording is a great achievement. Those who take the time to investigate will be rewarded.

This is stirring, intelligent music that works on many levels.  A strong candidate for record of the year.

Larry Stephan (3/20/2011)


 

 

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