The Phantom Tollbooth


Lost On You
Artist:  Honey
Label:   Sublime Records
Time:    12 tracks/46:11

Some bands just like to do 180s.  Honey's first album, Lovely, was decent, but was noticeably devoid of religious references. So, with the release of "Lost On You," what do we find?  A concept worship album, complete with full lyrics and liner notes with scriptural explanations and introductions for every song!

What's most surprising about this album is that the band manages to maintain its artful rock and abstract poetic lyrics while conveying a sense of peaceful worship and love for God.  Don't expect any angst-ridden rockers or tension-filled ballads on this album.  The music of the band has really evolved since the first album, though at times you wish they would break the even tempo of the songs, and rock.  There are also some definite Jars of Clay and Starflyer 59 influences, not surprising since  various members of both bands helped with production.

Some songs, like the title track "Lost on You" combine smart pop singalong lyrics and interesting music.  The lyrics are quite  intriguing in their poetic simplicity, for example the lyrics to "Movies 1":

 Lost in the flame
 You surround me
 Lost in the flame
 I cry for the rain
 To surround me
 I cry for the rain
Overall, the combination of "art meeting worship," as this album was hyped, comes off quite well, though its slow pace of the album will undoubtedly leave some listeners bored and frustrated.  Still, this is great music to relax to.  RIYL: Newer Starflyer 59, Jars of Clay, and the last Honey album.

By Joe Rockstroh (11/14/98)

"Lush" is probably the best word to describe this follow up to Lovely. That predecessor was a big hit with a number of friends of mine and did suggest a higher degree of artistic vision than many of the glut of alternative albums which were being released around that time. But this album is a significant leap forward. Reminiscent in many ways of a brighter Violet Burning with the Verve's Richard Ashcroft on vocals (adding a striking falsetto), the sound is at times dense and at others sprawling.
 
Production came from Dan Haseltine and Steve Mason of Jars of Clay, and Eric Campuzano and Wayne Everett of Prayer Chain/Starflyer 59. The greater experience of the latter two with this genre is obvious in their tracks, although those produced by the Jars boys might be more successful commercially. The emphasis of the album is worship, both through music and lyrics. As far as artistic merit and expression are acts of worship, this album certainly succeeds. Many who enjoy this sort of music will find it helpful, but there are no corporate worship sing-alongs here.

Occasionally the arrangements spread a little too far and appear slightly stretched, preventing this album from becoming the classic it could have been. But this is a real leap forward and positions Honey as an artist to keep an eye on.

By James Stewart (1/14/99)