STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 115378-18172 LABEL: Centricity 0829619115826 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2011-08-16 RRP: £9.98
Reviewed by Ben Lloyd
Opening with the title track, a driving country rock-tinged meditation on sacrifice and gain, 'On The Altar Of Love' is a journey through a number of different musical styles whilst retaining the Canadian band's use of worshipful lyrics. "For The Heartbreak" is a standout track, suggesting gratitude to God for life's troubles because they help us appreciate the good times, whilst "Living The Dream" is a bouncy number reminiscent of mainstream act Mika. First single from the album, "Let Me Rediscover You" is a sweeping plea for a deeper relationship with God, similar in musical style to much of Brandon Flowers' solo work, right down to the passionate, tremulous vocals. Rounding off the album, "Glory By The Way Of Shame" recounts the stories of several prodigals encountering love and forgiveness, echoing the biblical parable. Downhere have a reputation for being one of the most thought provoking worship ministries serving the international Church and they retain their creative standards with this set.
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If their last record was a light-in-the-darkest-places announcement that “the end is really just the beginning,” then Downhere’s latest Centricity Music release arrives as an artfully textured but heartfelt declaration that, “True progress might mean we have to go backwards”.
As students of history, Jeremy, Jason, Marc and Glenn have come to recognize and appreciate the fact that their faith is not simply their own—but that it’s part of a much larger communion of believers that stretches across cultures and thousands of years. And while we might have the privilege of bearing that torch during the short span of our own lives, they would say it’s important to recognize it’s not a torch we lit. It’s one that was passed to us by generations of faithful saints, and it’s one that we’ll soon enough be passing on to those who follow us.
At first blush that might sound like a heady concept for a pop album, but what Downhere has somehow managed to do is to translate those great truths into the most popfriendly record they’ve engineered to date, carving out lush and hook-laden aural landscapes, complimented by a lyrical approach that feels personal and intimate. Or, to put it another way, On the Altar of Love is thoroughly passionate, but never preachy.