Shane Barnard and Shane Everett, better known as Shane & Shane have made quite an impression in the worship scene through their two national releases, Psalms and Carry Away. Their music blends acoustic worship with folk for a unique mixture that has become a listener favorite. Now, they release Upstairs, which contains six new studio tracks, as well as four familiar tracks, two from each of their previous releases. Perhaps this may seem pointless to some… why not just release a brand new, full-length record? But for fans of the duo, Upstairs serves as a reminder of where Shane & Shane have been, and where exactly they are going.
Let's talk about the six unreleased tracks, because that's really the meat of this record. "Holy" is a pop/folk look at God's holiness, grace, and mercy. "I Miss You" is a beautiful ballad about the longing to be with the Lord where He is. "May the Few" may possibly be the most pop-oriented song on the entire disc. A simple, but lovely song of praise to God, with lyrics such as "Glorious and mighty/ Are Your ways in all the earth/ And may Your worth array in glory/ Render hearts that only worship You." "Yearn" and "Chapter One" are more folk-influenced songs about longing for God and His ways.
Barnard proves what an amazing lyricist he is on Upstairs. And it is just as apparent on "Still at Shore" as it is on every track of the disc. A departure from the songs of worship and praise that we have become accustomed to, "Still at Shore" expresses Barnard's desire to find the love of his life, "And why haunts this hunger/ To love her/ My ship sets its sail/ A long time ago/ And my mind has said its farewell/ And my lips have declared, "It's time."/ But my heart cannot say its goodbye."
The four previously released tracks: "Psalm 13," "Beauty for Ashes," "The Answer," and "I Want It All" show off the mellower, folk side of the band. It seems the entire disc is aiming to please the fans that did not start listening because of the "catchy pop" side of them. So, really, this is Shane & Shane's least accessible disc to date. Still, it's a brilliant album lyrically and will appeal to their folk fans most of all. But all fans of Shane Barnard and Shane Everett would do well to check what's Upstairs- Review date: 05/23/04, written by Josh Taylor
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