In 2003, Telecast released The Beauty of Simplicity, offering a flicker of hope for worship bands in the Christian industry. With Eternity is Now, they are still striving towards that goal.
While they have lost some of the rock that set Simplicity apart from other worship albums, that edge remains apparent on a few tracks. They open with "Saturate," one of the few rock songs on the album. What makes this different than something on Simplicity is the use of synthesizers on the album. That 80's pop influence is even more evident on "Release the Deep." The rock flavor can still found on "Fade Into You," a song reminiscent of something off of Starflyer 59's I Am The Portuguese Blues.
Unfortunately, Telecast makes a common mistake in modern worship albums by falling into the trap of uncreative music. "Today," "Wounded Feet," "Everything," and "Close to You" have are rather run-of-the-mill, not just musically, but also lyrically. However, there are certainly still some very good songs on Eternity is Now. "Face to Face," a very catchy folk song in the same vein as Jars of Clay, stand out along with "Absolution," a beautiful acoustic song. It is a very personal song of worship not only viewing God as God, but also as a friend. This is the beginning of Telecast breaking out of the mold. There is also some very nice harmony on this song. "Up Toward The Center" is also notable, however it is only slightly longer than a minute. Eternity is Now ends with "Building A Sorrowful Loveliness," a personal favorite on the album. It's a great acoustic song and Josh White's voice sounding especially good on here, offering a nice Beatles-style harmony. His voice sounds refreshing on the acoustic tracks as he's not forcing it, but letting the music compliment it.
While they are lacking some of the aggressiveness on Simplicity, I have to give them credit for some of the new sounds. Not just on the synth's, but also on the folk rock / southern country tracks bringing the likes of Beck, Jars of Clay, or John Denver to mind. Unfortunately, there are isn't much change lyrically from album to album.
In a world of supply and demand there is demand for modern worship music, however, the supply is limited for real, quality worship. People demand rock music and that's what they get. But there's something to be said for slow acoustic worship, such as artists like Justin McRoberts. Telecast is certainly one of those modern worship bands that is on their way to making a name for themselves. Their upside is greater than their downside with their best stuff being their brand of acoustic ballad worship. If they run with that, they can do a lot for Christian music. I look forward to their third album to see some great changes. It's all a matter if they can break out of the normalcy of the modern worship genre holding them back and go with their hearts, pianos and guitars.- Review date: 9/24/05, written by Kevin Chamberlin
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