Circleslide earned its start in Christian music back in 2003 when the guys won the GMA Band Competition in Estes Park, CO. Now, with a full production team (Tommy Collier, Steve Hindalong, Marc Byrd, Peter Kipley, John Mays, and Circleslide themselves), this band from San Antonio, Texas has finally prepared its full-length release on Centricity Records.
Upon opening, it's easy to get a good feel for how the majority of the record will go. Beginning with the record's title track, Uncommon Days displays a mature, pop/rock vibe even offering personal lyrics on most tracks. "Home" alludes to the old "Home is Where the Heart Is" saying with "Home- where the flowers grow/ A place for us to go/ Where I don't feel alone/ When I go away/ I will always come back home." From there the band explores faith ("Walking on the Waves"), the meaning of life ("Up to the Sky"), and knowing God (" Sun of My Soul") all within their musical comfort zone. The band's light rock sound, while enjoyable, still leaves slightly more to be desired. Listeners will probably pick up comparisons to mainstream band Live, as well as many of CCM's own light rock bands. Vocally, lead singer Gabriel Martinez sounds like a cross between Matthew West and Michael Quinlan. Uncommon Days, though a solid effort, still manages to miss out on some potential creativity.
Fans of the ever-popular praise and worship discs from many of today's popular artists will immediately take to the David Crowder Band-esque "My Reward," which will undoubtedly open up many new doors for Circleslide. "Gravity" bears a similar tone as well. And though most of Uncommon Days falls roughly in the same category, "The Weather Boy (C'mon, C'mon)" sets itself apart as the record's leading standout track with an almost wailing guitar at the end of the song. That tune's aggressive rock sound is an odd fit for the rest of the record, holding the same effect as dropping a Third Day song in the middle of a MercyMe record. Nevertheless, it makes one wish this group of guys executed more of this sound as it works extremely well with the band's talents.
Uncommon Days, like most records, has its highs and lows. Hopefully in the future, Circleslide takes the opportunity to grow musically and dig in deeper into a strong rock territory where they are capable of heading. Until then, fans of light rock can feel satisfied with Uncommon Days.- Review date: 7/8/06, written by Lauren Summerford
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