STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 2500-189 LABEL: Vireo SVD2202 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £10.99
Reviewed by Janey Lee Grace
So why the name? I've no idea! The lyrics offer no solution. Never mind, let's press on... Anything that is produced by Brown Bannister (he who is responsible for tracks such as "Lead Me On" by Amy Grant) is worth a listen as far as I'm concerned, and production-wise this album was not disappointing. Musically it's pretty good too (although how much of that can be credited to the band I've no idea). So what is the big BUT? Well, it's the songs and creativity that are not quite up to scratch for me - there's not enough originality. Several of the tracks are derivative of pop classics, the title track has the rhythm and feel of "Walking On The Moon" by The Police, and both the opening track "You Lord" and "Do You Want To Know Love" sound very influenced by American pop band They Might Be Giants (remember the wonderful "Birdhouse In Your Soul"?). It's also partly TMBG sounding because the lead singer Joel Hanson has that same nasally quality to his voice. Being influenced by pop classics is no bad thing of course (I'm always first in line for a good pop song!) but I'm not sure if Pray For Rain are entirely sure of their own direction. I'm also not sure who they're aiming at -tracks like "Let Go" are obviously aimed at Christians or those considering a deeper commitment but simplistic lyrics such as "I just want you to know that if you're going to live for God you've got to let go" are unlikely to strike a chord or change lives. There is one excellent song on the album - "On And On" - though it only lasts two and half minutes. It is a wonderful acoustic guitar ballad with great fretless bass courtesy of session man Matt Pierson. This is Pray For Rain's debut album and with that in mind it's a pretty good start. A very catchy album of 'sophisticated pop' with two or three good pop songs. That's praise indeed, 15 minutes in pop is a long time!
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