Poor Old Lu has returned one last time (at least for now) to deliver an album six years after A Picture of the Eighth Wonder released in 1996. The original four members of the band (Nick Barber, Scott Hunter, Aaron Sprinkle, and Jesse Sprinkle) remain intact on The Waiting Room. Poor Old Lu's latest project serves as a very good comeback with their signature sound and Scott Hunter's trademark vocals.
This album focuses a lot on the issues of Hope, Change, and Responsibility. "Revolve" opens with perhaps one of POL's strongest songs to date as the pace of the music, along with the lyrics, creates a receptive atmosphere, "I'm pushing this out and pulling You in (Where joy and peace begin) / I've been living in doubt and walking on pins... I'm throwing this out and hoping in (Where joy and peace begin)." "Now" has a sound that will cause the listener to reflect on previous songs from POL's years on Alarma. It's a very likeable song that shows much emotion throughout its entire sequence.
"Sunlight & Shadows" slows things down a bit with a pleasant song that could be considered a ballad, however, the guitars are much too intense during the chorus, which makes for an intriguing arrangement. "Crushed" has a movie soundtrack quality and carries a melody that you are likely to find yourself humming again long after listening.
The album moves on with the Sixpence-esque "Today" and on to a song that focuses on the hope that people can see the world as children do in "Praying for the Perfect World." "Crowded" is yet another great song with some incredible variations in the musical composition and with the vocal arrangement of Aaron, Nick, and Scott. "Friday to Sunday" can lyrically be a praise and worship song that convinces one to not have doubt in their faith, "We once were full of hope to know / He's opened up our eyes / But if He walks across the sea / What does that mean / If He has died / But the stone was rolled away."
The album closes with what may be the best Poor Old Lu Song of all time, the title track. "The Waiting Room" has an excellent intro that builds up to the actual song for thirty eight seconds. This is the track you just can't get enough of as it keeps getting better as it progresses. The song is almost a summary of events that conveys the story of an individual who knows that he is saved while others live the remainder of their life in denial.
Poor Old Lu has a presence and style that seems like a very appropriate home on Tooth & Nail Records, and it seems like they should been there from the beginning. Despite its strengths, some longtime fans may feel that this album was over-polished and prefer the more raw sound found in Sin or Mindsize. POL has released nothing but great releases in the past, and I feel this is either their best album or at least equal to the genius displayed on A Picture of the Eighth Wonder. The Waiting Room is highly recommended to those who want alternative music at its best.- Review date: 4/9/07, written by Wayne Myatt for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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