Seven Places earned a fair amount of success with their debut Lonely, for the Last Time in 2003. But this year, they step it up with the bold and beautiful Hear Us Say Jesus. The album's very title attests to the unapologetic approach the entire project takes.
The message is never watered down, and never for an instant are the lyrics in anyway cryptic as to their exact meaning. The opening track, "Fall in Line," is a call to action, "It's time we left the world know we've got something to say/ It's time to lift up our hands until the world understands… Hear us say "Jesus"." "Even When" talks about the struggle to praise God through the rough times, "Although I'm in this flesh, it doesn't mean You shouldn't have the best from me… Even when my eyes are dry/ Even when my soul is tired/ Even when my hands are heavy, I will lift them up to You."
Their soothing pop/rock sound returns with rejuvenated force. In some instances, this is a more pop-oriented release, and in others, it's a much more rock-influenced outing. And though there are many proofs of both written all over the album, Seven Places never chooses one over the other, keeping both in check and producing a sleek, layered, and atmospheric sound. Seth Gilbert's voice might seem a bit too "poppy" for some, but that's really the only complaint to be had on Hear Us Say Jesus.
Seven Places is a breath of fresh air in a Christian market crowded with "sell-outs" and the like. "We chose this album title because we want to be a band known for being bold with Jesus," Gilbert said in the band's latest bio. Major points for that. And when you add to it the fact that this is one solid disc from most all standpoints, there aren't many reasons not to hear Seven Places say, boldly and clearly, "Jesus."- Review date: 10/12/04, written by Josh Taylor
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