Those who know me will know that I have a love hate relationship with concept albums… some albums by the best artist can we somewhat average, while other albums by average bands can be awesome and awe inspiring… so when Parachute Band said they had a ‘concept album’ I was a little nervous.
I shouldn’t have been because the concept was solid.
The idea of the albums is two discs… one of Matins (morning songs of praise) and a disc of Vespers (night prayers often of reflection). Now when I heard the idea for the album I have to admit I was looking forward to hearing it, especially as we see more and more churches forgetting their history (and what we have learnt from history) and deconstructing the Gospel message… here is a group of young men who are looking back at our Christian heritage and grabbing morsels to carry forward into our every day lives.
The first disc ‘Matins’ is 7 songs of praise… and to be honest there is a great mixture of styles and textures on this disc… without being distracting… In fact in a few of the tracks there is a great mixing of styles especially with acoustics and electronic merging. The first disc has a great drive to it, and the lead song “Keep the fires burning” is most certainly the highlight… However the track ‘City of the Lord’ is also a great track starting of very simple.
The second disc ‘Vespers’ is certainly more reflective, and I wonder if the band has taken the relective nature a bit too far… a bit too literally. The reason I ask this is that you will hear a lot of synth… almost dolphin noises in some parts… synth choir in a long angelic ‘Ahhhhh’ and piano slowly painting tinkles of colour… it’s an album full of the type of music you’ll hear in some churches while someone is praying. However… as you continue to listen you can’t help but reflect… you can’t help but be drawn into a sense of relaxation and you find yourself breathing slower… a time to refocus. And there are no words… this is disc is designed to make you unwind and look upward… as the ambient tunes float around you in a calming mood… helping you reflect on God and all he has done.
This is a brave move by a band clearly not afraid to listen to God and put out something that others aren’t.
A group that understands that by looking back at their past they know their steps are secure in their future… and a group that understands that moving with the day is a natural thing… especially as we move into business in our day to day lives.
Morning and evenings may never be the same again…