Helming from the biggest state in the U.S., Selectric Records pop/rock act Dalton debuts with Taste The Sky. Dalton probably couldn't come at a better time. With the modern worship scene becoming inundated with tired retreads of popular forms of songwriting, it's groups like Dalton that dabble in such a genre with a creative and refreshing outlook.
To call Dalton a worship band wouldn't be fair to these Texas rockers. The themes on Taste The Sky range from the worshipful to the encouraging, not limiting their songwriting to one specific subject. The record opens strongly with "City Lights," a pop/rock song in the vein as Delirious? or Tree63, boasting a memorable melody and pristine harmonies. The title track "Taste The Sky" is sort of an anthem for life and is followed up by "Life Afraid," a song that serves as proof that Dalton can craft a rock ballad just as effectively as an upbeat anthem, lyrically encouraging the listener to seize the day. Preston Dalton's vocals are versatile enough to sound good in both formats, with the band's instrumentations easily complimenting his efforts. It's rare to find this much talent brimming from such a young band.
The distinctly diverse "Overlight" is an album highlight, blending elements of pop, rock, and even the kind of harmonies found in late 80's, early 90's arena rock for a worthwhile effort. "600 Ft." is a deliciously moody successor to "Overlight," serving as a sort of prayer for God's rescue and renewal, while "Hold On" is a ballad that encourages the listener to hold on to Christ through life's toughest times.
"Above You" is another melodic highlight that is followed by the more aggressive "Take What You Want," as "Streets" continues the album's worshipful tone with a longing for the day when we'll meet Christ on the golden streets of Heaven. The album returns to the more rock flavor of the earlier tracks for "Breathing In," before winding down and ending on a softer note. "Hold Me Now," the album's closer, flirts with over-simplifying the band's poetic writing for a straight-forward worship tune, but manages to redeem the song with a rousing choral finish that bests many of the attempts that artists like Delirious? have tried before.
Taste The Sky is a well-crafted pop/rock record from one of the more impressive debuts you'll discover this Spring. While there's room for growth and further exploration stylistically, there's something fresh about Dalton's music. Fans of Delirious?, Tree63, and Sanctus Real should especially take a look. It appears that Selectric Records may definitely have a breakout band on their hands.- Review date: 4/30/06, written by John DiBiase
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