Label: Ardent Records
Length: 13 tracks / 50.58 minutes
Melodic female-fronted pop-alternative, with vocals reminiscent of
Sarah Masen in a more forthright mood, Clear have garnered a fair bit of
attention so far. The first track sounds like a single destined for a lot
of play on Christian radio, with a very straightforward set of lyrics about
the need to live for God more boldly, and a breezy feel to the music.
The album continues in a similar vein to its opener, although a
few different effects are brought in to give the sound a bit more depth.
Digging a little beneath the surface reveals that the band have worked
hard on their lyrics and, while the message is fairly simple on the surface,
the wording is generally incisive and rich. Try this section from "Clarity,"
All around the light is changing
The lyrics are generally accompanied with music that is fairly accessible,
but I can't help feeling that the production hand is too evident in the
melting pot. "What Your Grace Can Do," for example, starts out well, but
is drawn out and shows far too generic a face before long. Much of the
album is similar, there's a spark there, but it's as if we're seeing it
through a misted lens.
Shining through the fog I see
Giving me a new perspective
One of clarity
A glimmer once imagined
Now revealed in truth you hold
In imminence I wait each day
And watch your mystery unfold
The end result is an unfortunately average album which has fallen
foul of many of the pitfalls awaiting unwary young musicians. We can but
hope that as they accrue experience we'll hear their music spark more strongly.
By James Stewart (1/23/99)