Saturday, January 17, 2009

Music Appreciation: CCM Rarities

Sleeper by Wavorly

I've been keeping an eye on Wavorly since their debut. I mean, how often does one come across a rather heavier rock band with intense melodies and lyrics subtly influenced by C.S.Lewis?

Only recently has this song in particular began to mean something to me. One of the lines in the first chorus declares, "I've been dreaming life away," before breaking into the chorus which exhorts, "Sleeper/ No deeper/ Lift your eyes/ Awake from dreaming/ Sleeper/ Arise/ And you will find life."

Like some of Wavorly's other pieces, the lyrics are what really attract me. They seem to deftly steer clear of that trap so many fall into, the 'typical Christian lyrics', which must always include, it seems, something about love or forgiveness. Instead, Wavorly composes poetic messages with undeniably Christian meaning.

I also especially like the way the instruments compliment one another in this song. The violin and electric guitar harmonize so perfectly, they almost seem to be one instrument rather than two. The piano rises and falls, carrying with it a certain emotion. The rythm actually has some variation. (Gasp! Can such a wonder be true?) And best of all, they do not overwhelm the breathy yet strong vocals.

Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I would give this piece an 8. Yes, I really like it that much.

Honestly by VOTA

Okay, so, honestly I don't really know anything about VOTA. I've never heard them before this song. But I can't resist promoting such a beautiful little piece, despite my obvious ignorance.

The first attraction is obvious; the song is clearly piano-driven. It weaves in and out throughout the song, always there. The chords on the chorus are beautiful, but nothing compared to the delicate harmony in the verses. In the latter half of the song, it is also complimented by some gorgeous strings reinforcing the strain.

Musically, I would put this song on level with anything Coldplay could produce. It's just well-crafted. Flowing like a river without interruption.

Admittedly, the singer's voice is less than original. He sounds something like a cross between Michael W Smith and Chris Tomlin, in my opinion. But this can be forgiven, because his vocal is strong, and he does some cool stuff with his voice. (Forgive my ignorance... I need to learn more musical terminology.)

The biggest star goes to the lyrics. Honestly addresses a sorely neglected topic in Christian music: the very fragility of our humanity. And then it - boldly - suggests that perhaps in order to be the light we are called to be, people first need to see the darkness that was first in us. These lyrics are heartfelt... sure to strike a chord in any person.

"Let the light escape/ from this wounded place inside my soul/ Honestly."

I'm definitely going to be looking more into VOTA in the future. I'd say this song, alone, merits a 6 1/2.

1 comment:

Lenya said...

Holy cow - you could be a professional music reviewer! I'm not really familiar with either of those groups, but they sound cool, especially Wavorly. I'll have to check them out.