Caedmon's Call was at a crossroads. With 2004's phenomenal mission-themed Share the Well project, the band shined a massive spotlight on the Dalit situation in India, where today, over 250 million are viewed as less than human. "Why haven't I heard of this before?" one may ask. That is what made Share the Well so incredible, issues and situations were being brought up that had barely been noticed by people here in the USA. Even though these new ethnic sounds made for a great listen, hardly anyone bought the album. Christian-radio made things even harder for the band by shunning all attempts to get a single on the air, which in turn severely affected ticket sales for the tour in support of the album.
So where do they go now? It had been barely five months, and their record company was already demanding they head back into the studio, but this time severely limiting their creative freedom in the recording process to songs that fit around the terms "praise," "worship," and "radio friendly." Not giving up hope for freedom of the Dalit, Caedmon's spent the better part of last year crafting In the Company of Angels II: The World Will Sing, which successfully blends their recent call for global activism through Share the Well, with songs of praises for our Lord and Savior.
One can feel Caedmon's newfound passion in both of these areas in every track, with each successive song drawing the listener closer and closer to the Lord. Lead singer Cliff Young, together with Aaron Senseman co-wrote "Great and Mighty," the album's catchy first single. Although a little too reminiscent of FFH in the beginning, the electric guitar driven intro nevertheless sucks you right into the chorus, which can easily be memorized by the end of the song. This definitely has the potential to be their biggest radio hit since "Before There Was Time" was released four years ago off their first Angels project.
"Rest Upon Us," the first song on the album to feature both female-lead Danielle Young and guitarist Andrew Osenga on vocals, deals with the importance of having the Holy Spirit influence our daily lives. Their voices blend together so well on this soft track that the accompaniment could have been completely omitted, making this a killer a cappella tune.
Andrew Osenga has two tracks with him on lead as well, the best being "We Give Thanks," which is another song that is likely destined for radio success and worship service popularity because of its simple tune and unquestionable message. On the chorus, Osenga sings, "We give thanks to the father of mercy/ We give thanks to the author of love/ We give thanks to the giver of the Son." As one of the principal songwriters for the band, Osenga felt convicted to keep his music completely focused on what this project was supposed to be about: God. It's an idea and theme that is evidenced in each song throughout the record.
While the rest of the tracks are just as noteworthy, there isn't space enough in this review to describe them all in detail- just know that they are all worth listening to. While not as groundbreaking and indescribable as Share the Well, Caedmon's latest release is a very solid one that tops anything they, or most other artists, have released in the worship field of Christian music in recent memory. The exposure Caedmon's Call will receive from this album will go a long ways in bringing their message of global activism to a wide audience- at concerts, worship services, and on the way home from work.- Review date: 2/15/06, written by Andrew Shaw
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