The word "epic" was ruined several years back; it descended into the abyss of describing the mundane flavors of fast-food and became the title of American church conferences. A beautiful and powerful word was degraded to a low-level descriptive buzzword. All that having been said, epic is quite possibly the most appropriate word to describe the latest offering from The Brilliance. All Is Not Lost is a musical adventure from start to finish; challenging musical tastes and tightly-held convictions.
Where Brother felt more minimalistic, the band's sophomore effort is layered with fuller instrumentation and various styles. Some amazing highlights are "See the Love," "Turning Over Tables" and "Who Is Jesus." Musically, the eclectic style of "Hear Our Prayers" features an incredible 80's synth-driven melody that is reminiscent of WHAM or early Michael W. Smith. While some might be confused by that, any love of Smitty's Project will be gladly surprised.
Communicating a clear social mission, "Will We Ever Rise" is ironically titled as it encourages the listener to rise over their fear. What sounds like a call to arms is actually a call to drop them as he sings, "As we lay down our weapons, open up our hearts." While it is never wise to assume what an artist may be saying, the fellas in The Brilliance have been known for their bluntness.
Concluding the album is the hopeful title track: what starts as digitally melancholy evolves into stripped-down gospel. Lyrically, it pleads for the rest and peace found in the gospel and musically is complemented. Considering the climate of American culture, this track really creates the image of bridging the divide that separates so many people today.
There is a beautiful irreverence that shines off the art of The Brilliance. The band is typically not concerned with attracting the masses by stroking the comfortable and familiar. On the contrary, they rest in the uncomfortable and awkward. The music is uniquely rich and they communicate truth in a wild yet mildly tamed manner. All Is Not Lost is a wonderful example of their maturation and growth, and fans of their debut should find themselves pleased with this sophomore effort.- Review date: 1/27/17, written by Ryan Barbee of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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