The Brilliance is a collective defined by its erraticism. Shapeshifting may not be an attribute that lends itself to maintaining fans, but it does lend itself to creating engaging art and exciting direction. One should keep that in mind as they dive into Suite No. 2: World Keeps Spinning - An Antidote to Modern Anxiety, for it has much to offer in David Gungor's typically contemplative way, despite tossing listeners into a whirlwind of musical styles and anxious thoughts.
Opener "Release Me" entices listeners into thinking this is going to be a typical Brilliance release: it's emotional, orchestral, and it sets a precedent for long stretches of melodic instrumentation. The very next track flips that formula on its head. Glitchy effects meet arcane melodies and unpredictable chord progressions (and a mild cuss in the line "what the hell am I doing here?"). It's clear that this album is going to be even more philosophical and esoteric than usual, and when combined with its eclectic, electronic orchestration, this may feel quite alien to fans of their liturgical fare. The stretch of moody pop piano "Circus" to distorted blues-rock "Facebook" to chamber choir piece "I Shall Not Fear" exemplifies this head-scratching stylistic diversity. Ironically, this back-and-forth dance of palette might be anxiety-inducing in itself. Perhaps that is the beauty of this album's design.
By the time we get to "Moods," we find earned comfort from the aggressive changes of the previous songs. It is a meter-shifting, classical instrumental that leads into a trio of hopeful anthems. The antidote to modern anxiety is found in these sentiments: "just hold onto You as the world keeps spinning. It's beautiful, and that's all we have."
Suite No. 2: World Keeps Spinning is ambitious and experimental even for a worship band based on those two adjectives. It's a collection of short, quirky pieces that largely abandon typical song structures and occasionally feature abrupt endings. It's their most energetic and expansive project to date. Will it be divisive amongst the group's fan base? Probably. Is it a necessary work of art in its creative explorations and cultural relevance? Absolutely.- Review date: 12/31/19, written by Mason Haynie of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: None
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