STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 13901-21098 LABEL: Tooth & Nail TND75394 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2005-07-01 RRP: £12.99
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
MAE, from Norfolk, Virginia, have made considerable inroads since their 2003 debut 'Destination: Beautiful'. MAE, which incidentally stands from Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience, now surpass themselves with this breathtaking concept album. Lead singer Dave Elkins has one of the most moodily expressive voices heard for years while the arrangements here, featuring elegant piano lines from Rob Sweitzer, are nothing short of magnificent. Effectively a chronicle of a spiritual journey, 'The Everglow' starts and finishes with tracks which are reminiscent of an audio portion of a children's book but soon we're into "We're So Far Away", one of the most haunting ballads you'll hear this or any year, a punchy rocker "Someone Else's Arms" and then other great songs leading to a towering climax with the album's title track. Apparently the band's management are keen to emphasise that MAE are not a "Christian band" and that the beliefs of the members are private but there are plenty of spiritual sign posts here with "Ready And Waiting To Fall" being just one of them ("I've never been more perfect being alive/I've never been so satisfied/I could feel something different for the first time/Heaven made sense and all the words rhymed"). Final praise should be given to producer Ken Andrews for his part in making such a stunning musical soundscape while the use of strings and piano give dazzle to the guitar and bass-driven songs. If you've had enough of musical bores heaping OTT praise on Radiohead and Coldplay, this is the album to demonstrate that Christians are doing it better.
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