Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"On the shores" review

     I found this review on itunes about "On the shores." Hope you enjoy it

"I’m aware that commenting on this CD can be construed as oddly self serving. But I don’t care. I adore this record. Which can be considered somewhat narcissitic. But hear me out. I loved where this project was going from the beginning. Only Johnny and Mel could make what this specific album would become. A blend of art and spiritual depth that can only come through steeping in something that cannot be bypassed or faked. Kinda like the passage of time. It’s almost as if all they did was document who they are and what they go through everyday, with the colors of the relationships they had already cultivated. And let me say this, a record like this is not an easy onion to peel. It required tears. And like all albums I work on and love, at some point I hated it. You would too if you listened to the same album for about a year straight. In fact, that is considered a form of torture in some places. But after I’m done with a record, I don’t listen to it for a long while. Call it postpartum depression if you like, but I need time to forget the details of making it to come back a while later and see if I really like what was birthed. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I still hate it, and sometimes it’s a wash.

This is one of the few I adore.

The emotion and genuineness behind “Explode My Soul” and “Redemption Rain” can make me slip out of my musical-jadedness before I realized it happened. The joy behind “On the Shores” and “Wreckingball” is self evident for all the right reasons. “Love Song” is an amazing song, much less ridiculously amazing worship song. {Springsteen fasns will get it} The truth behind “Abba” can prop up the song itself. But even more that that, the overall feeling of the record is one of hope. Which for a worship album is next to impossible to do whilst singing “Empty My Soul,” but yet there is. A real cry of desperation that leaves you more filled than you were before you heard it and somehow you know that a CCLI check had nothing to do with the motivation for writing it! And maybe that’s part of it, I just can not imagine a worship leader in a mega church singing “…let heaven fall, like a wrecking ball, and crush every plan of my enemy” and me not doubling over from nausea-o-pretense.

But with Johnny… I actually believe him. And if that doesn’t spring hope in you, then what will? A couple of fun facts; the opera singer on “Faith is Rising” is a chopped up diddy from the good ole Library of Congress that took six hours to dig up and I still ended up using the melody half backwards to match a melody I heard in my head while playing the song live with Johnny in Dubai. {geez I hope she’s not singing something unbecoming in Italian}

Before you go knocking what sounds like a drum machine loop on “Earth like Heaven” you should know that the loop is actually the mic bleed from the Ooooouuuu background vocalist mc (performed by the lovely Molly Skaggs) who was singing in the same room as the drums during the tracking and ran through a tape delay whilst performing the Rhodes part in real time. Molly, “You’re a monster!” {spoken with the Gingerbread Man’s voice from Shrek}

One tambourine did in fact die in the making of the song “On the Shores” (in terms of longevity, wood tambourines make bad high hat replacements)

The choir for “Just One Drop” was recorded 5 years ago for a benefit album called “Zao Water” You should look it up.

“Threshingfloor” and “Abba” almost didn’t make the album. Heh funny.

There is what some people call “a new sound” coming to worship music. And I will tell you that the “new sound” is defined more by the hearts of the people playing it than the sound itself, but it will indeed create a new sound! And this album is on the shores of it."

The producer


  1. This review communicates truth, just like the album does. I'm not a musician, or in the music business, but I listen to a lot of albums. Very few get played as often as this one does, and I can count on one hand the records that move me to tears and shouts of joy EVERY SINGLE TIME I play them.

    This is the Gospel: God expressing his life through every person involved in bringing this music to life. He is present every time it is played. Thank you all for being available, willing, and open to be the vessels of God's presence to all the rest of us (Luke 1:38). It is a beautiful gift of his love!

  2. Right on. I got no words, really. Just that I most often sing praise to my Father with their voices comin from my speakers :) I dream of a community like theirs. I wonder what livin on that farm is like quite often.