Caleb Rowden may seem like your average, everyday guy, but this 23-year-old singer/songwriter played music long before he was in the music industry. And to show for it is his Slanted Records debut, Free From Ordinary. He's been stirring a bit of underground buzz, but does his debut really live up to its title?
The opener "Alone" starts the album out somewhat slow, but picks up as the song goes on, with the message being a call of assurance and hope to those who think they are alone with no one to turn to in life. The hit single "You Are Holy" is an acoustic rock tune that tells of how holy and worthy God really is, while "Every Time" expresses how He is always there for us and will never leave us. The title track fails to stop the upbeat pace, while "Send Me" takes it down a notch with soft piano melodies. "Made" keeps a little of those same melodies, only with added guitar work and lyrics that speak of how we were made and created for God's glory. "The Journey" is a nice head-bobbing tune that only adds to Rowden's potential as a musician. The rock-infused "All I Need" may be the most aggressive track on the album, but its daring statements never hold back from what needs to be said. The second-to-last track "Wait" states how we all long to be with Jesus in Heaven one day and we will wait for His return. What's unique about this particular song is how it opens up. If you listen closely, its intro resembles the intro of Further Seems Forever's "Light Up Ahead." The album closes with "Falling" slowing things down completely as a symphonic ballad.
I have to say that this record is more than your average pop record. It is, in fact, amazing and is definitely deserving of recognition. A slight drawback may be that Rowden's music may resemble other bands and artists, namely Jeremy Camp or Coldplay. Nevertheless, it's his bold, artistic lyrics that set him apart from all the rest. Only time will tell what the future has in store for Caleb Rowden.- Review date: 2/5/07, written by Laura Sproull
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