With roots in my home state of Texas, new CCM arrival Everman makes an impressive debut with their self-titled first album. A mostly-successful fusion of beautiful acoustic tracks with a few more upbeat pop-rock songs, Everman proves that the band is one to be watched closely. That said, this album isn't perfect. Their forte is clearly in the slower songs, and a few of the more upbeat ones just don't do it for me.
Kicking off the album is "Around." Personally, I found this song to be, hands down, the worst on the album. It doesn't sound awful, but it has a kind of staccato, choppy sound that I didn't care for at all. This is especially evident during the opening. At times featuring a similar choppy sound as "Around," "I Will Remember" is redeemed by a catchy chorus and a touching message about remembering loved ones who have passed away. Next up is "Providence," a slower track with some acoustic guitar excellence. While not as good as some of the later slow songs, it does give us our first glimpse of the type of music they're best at. "You Are" is upbeat and turns out to be a catchy praise song that could easily become a youth group favorite. With its focus on who Christ is and all that He has done, it is a great song not only sonically, but also lyrically. "Carry Me," another praise song with a vertical focus, features beautiful acoustic guitar and keyboard and is one of the best songs on the album. "Still Waiting" falls in the same vein as the first two tracks, being another more upbeat pop-rock song with a, albeit repetitive, catchy chorus. A message for children who are hurting from a divorce, its sober message is an important one in today's society.
"Not Alone," "Believe," "Miracle," and "Changing Me," like "Carry Me," are beautiful slow songs that really demonstrate where Everman's strengths lie. With excellent vocals and guitar, not to mention wonderful choruses, these tracks are simply excellent. On top of that, "Miracle" features one of the better acoustic guitar melodies I've heard in a while. "December" is an incredible song that captures the excitement of a father-to-be waiting for "the big day." Because of the powerful and full sound toward the end (1:48 minutes into the song, to be exact), it pulls ahead of the songs previously mentioned as arguably the best on the album. Closing with the melodic and worshipful "You Only, Most Holy," Everman is definitely one to check out.
After a rough beginning, Everman picks up steam about a third of the way through and doesn't lose it. An excellent album despite the less-than-great sounding first couple of songs, Everman is highly recommended for fans of slower acoustic-based music.- Review date: 8/15/03, written by Brian Frantz
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