It's always nice to find an indie band in this day and age that creates something catchy and relatively unique. Edison Glass might, at first listen, seem the quintessential ambient indie rock you've heard twenty-six thousand times already (and that's just today!), but you'd be mistaken. Let their 2006 release A Burn or a Shiver sink in a little bit, and you'll find it's anything but tired. Edison manages to give a lyrical exposition of a personal love life with Jesus- the struggles, the longing for something deeper, and the simple joy of needing Him. It's really quite disarming to hear- unpretentious in presentation, artistic in construction, but essentially the simple truths of our heart's fight to know Him.
Lyrically, most of the songs are of a conversational nature, spoken from human heart to Divine ears. The album takes us through various seasons of life and the spiritual and emotional landscape that accompanies each of them. From the struggles with double-mindedness and compromise in "Such a State" and "Dear Honesty," to the desperate longing for intimacy with God in "Minutes for Memories," each track is soaked in authenticity, and most with praise.
Musically, it's the raucous anthems at the album's outset like "Forever" that stick with you after the disc stops spinning. Despite the danceable beats and intricate guitar work, it's really the overall, complete feel of each tune that embeds them into memory. And there is a lot that is memorable about A Burn or a Shiver. Joshua Silverberg's vocals are very unique, and although they take a bit to get used to, once you do, his voice frames the songs wonderfully. Almost a countermeasure- bassist Josh "Mountain" Morin chimes in vocally- in echoes and octaves that serve to both harmonize, and ground Silverberg's soaring range. The instrumentation is really where Edison shines, though. Every note progression feels like an experiment, but are so polished they flow effortlessly. Bass lines move beyond simply keeping rhythm into filling in the neglected corners of the overall sound. Drum beats venture to the edge of freneticism. Nothing is over-distorted, nothing feels crowded. But with clever use of delay and ambiance, it all feels full.
Regrettably absent are the five-minute cascading, instrumental floods from Edison's previous independent releases, but you only miss them for a minute. The message is moving, the music amazes throughout, and viewing A Burn or a Shiver as a whole- you can taste the love that every note was marinated in. Marvelous.- Review date: 2/1/07, written by David Goodman
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