Reviewed by Jon Cooper
'An Alleluia Of Sorts' is described, by the band themselves, as "16 songs based on man's adventure with sea, with spirit and with self", and frontman/lyricist of this Midlands-based collective, Simon Monaghan, draws heavily on the themes presented in the book of Jonah for inspiration. The song titles include "Bars Of Nineveh" and "One Sailor Down". If you're after throwaway, unit-shifting Olly Murs-isms, then take a huge step back now. That's not to say that this is a 'worship' album, or even a 'Christian' album; far from it. Rather, the songs are emotional and character-driven personal responses to Scripture, the unsubtle spiritual left-hooks of more mainstream Christian songwriting instead buried tantalisingly beneath a poetically-charged surface. Musically, fans of Fleetwood Mac or the Moody Blues would probably find a lot to enjoy here; we're in melodic, polished territory all the way, the vocals clean, the harmonies layered up like a Mary Berry wedding cake, and the lead guitar breaks more polished than a 'Rumours' Grammy. This is intelligent, carefully thought-out pop-rock, arranged with skill. The only danger is that it's all just too serious. All that digging for meaning, all that attempted empathy, all that within-band marital chaos - it must get wearying after a while. Which is exactly how the listener starts to feel about two-thirds of the way through 'An Alleluia Of Sorts'.
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