STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 1269-1624 LABEL: Survivor SURCD037 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 1999-07-23 RRP: £9.78
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Making their presence known at UK festivals this summer, Tree's second album follows hard on the heels of the excellent 'Overflow'. '63' takes its title from Psalm 63 and the fervour of the song 'Earnestly, Earnestly' sums up the overall flavour of the album. A clean rock sound that feels like an amalgamation of The Police and U2 combined with a few fancy loops and effects to make this a totally brilliant album. Tribute must be paid to the musical skills of the rhythm section with Darryl Stewart's tight drumming combining with Scoop's powerful bass playing acting as the perfect foil for the guitar extravagances of John Ellis. Touted as a worship band, this is definitely Jesus focused and continues to break down the divide between worship and CCM. Although it isn't packed with loads of tunes that could be sung by congregations, the pen of John Ellis draws on many themes that are psalm-like in content. However you have to remember that as well as great praise the Psalms are also a place for crying out to God in frustration, asking hard questions and wondering where God has disappeared to! On the first few listens, I just loved it when they went up tempo and poppy so '1*0*1' and 'Can I See Your Face' were the first to grab me. The more Listened, the more I realised that '63' is a compelling musical ride. Other highlights include the driving rock and repeated questions of 'Still Small Voice' and the lyrical struggles of 'Stumbling Stone' but album also has the declarative chorus of the excellent 'Sacrifice' and the encouragement of the vibey 'Scary'. The band also know how to make it mellow with the frankly brilliant 'Darkness Between The Stars', the acoustic 'Have You're Way' and the closing 'Anthem'. A fascinating mix and whilst this album isn't the absolute classic I'd hoped for after falling in love with rawer fresh sound of 'Overflow', it's darn close!
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