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JFH Staff Review




Aurora
Aurora



Album length: 10 tracks: 38 minutes, 28 seconds
Street Date: August 22, 2000


In mainstream music, "boy bands" and young female solo acts dominate the music scene in popularity among the youth. People like Backstreet Boys & Britney Spears are the kings and queens of pop music. The Christian music scene recently has seen this and has made a move to create counterparts to these secular icons. With new artists like Plus One, Shine, Stacie Orrico, and now Aurora, the Christian market is booming with new music for the youth market.

However, the best and most quality group of female pop singers I've heard yet has to be Aurora. Although this is far from the style I listen to, find their music strong, well-crafted, and of high quality. These 3 sisters: Rachel, Raquel, and Lauren Smith, all in their early 20s, only have one way to go with their career... UP!

Their self-titled debut album kicks off with the Britney-Spears-esque "Out of this World," a song powered by strong vocals, electronic sounds, and an infectious chorus. The following track, "Loving Me Like You Do" immediately changes gears, melding the blast of the first song's initial sound with a mild Latin flavor.

"Finer Love" lays down soft vocals with a funky electronic beat followed by slower pop rhythm. "Mercy Me" musically proposes a blend of "Out of this World" and "Finer Love." "Life In Your Hands" bring to mind that of old Out of Eden. Aurora successfully blends the power pop with good lyrics that never seem to slip into the realm of the cheesey.

"If You Didn't Love Me Anymore" is a romantic pop ballad with "#1 radio single" written all over it. Aurora proves to be very versatile musically and reinforces this observation again with "Before the Throne of God Above." It begins with silky smooth vocals whispering through the melody before being accompanied by Jeff Deyo, the former lead singer of SONICFLOOd. Definitely an album highlight. The only song that seems out of place on the project is the final track "Different Drum," in which amidst the fast dance beats, one of the girls painfully takes the roll of a junior cheerleader for the track, which it firmly pales in comparison to the prior excellent songs.

An impressive writing and production list exists on this project as well, easily explaining why the project sounds so good. Dino and John Elefante lend their help to the first 2 tracks, former-Petra-member-turned-producer Jim Cooper, Otto "Sugar Bear" Price of dc Talk's bassist fame, and Guardian's super-guitarist Tony Palacios. Together, they help bring together an impressive, satisfying, and worthy debut for these sisters.

- Review date: 8/1/00, written by John DiBiase


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CD

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. Record Label: Red Hill Records
. Album length: 10 tracks, 38 minutes and 28 seconds
. Street Date: August 22, 2000
. Buy It: Amazon.com

  1. Out of This World
  2. Loving Me Like You Do
  3. Finer Love
  4. Mercy Me
  5. Life in Your Hands
  6. Forget Me Not
  7. If You Didn't Love Me Anymore
  8. Out of My Mind
  9. Before the Throne of God Above
  10. Different Drum
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