Reader Review #1
This is the way an alternative band is supposed to sound: aggressive and dreamy, while sounding laid back and down to earth at the same time. Despite being relatively unknown in most Christian circles, Poor Old Lu was perhaps the greatest Christian alternative band of the 90's. Their first "last" album, written and recorded in only a few weeks, was alternative music at its finest.
The album's themes deal with both ends of the spectrum of human experience, containing lyrics that range from the darkness we feel within ourselves to the grace that is found in Christ. These themes are portrayed through thoughtful, innovative poetry. The album starts off with "Rail," a dark and moody song that deals with Christians who question their faith and how they should live it out in their everyday lives. This song also contains the hardest hitting lyric on the album, "What do I do/ when it seems I relate to Judas/ more than you."
Another highlight of the album is "Enough." This song is notable purely because the sound of a squeaky rat toy is mixed into the background music in the bridge. Lyrically, the song has no connecting theme, but it abstractly discusses the difficulties Christians have following Christ. "Chance for the Chancers" is definitely the gem of the album. The urgency of the music meshes perfectly with the earnestness of the lyrics. This song sums up the themes of the album, jumping from lyrics such as "Everything is gonna be ok/ He's going to wipe those fears away" to "But you won't hear these words/ no you don't have the time/ no that would be a crime."
The album ends with "Closing Down," a perfect outro for an album that the band thought would be their last. Lyrically, the song talks about how we as humans try to deal with our own problems, while musically, it juggles between mellow, blissful verses, and a driving chorus that builds to a climactic ending. Other notable songs are "Receive," "Joy I Had Was Joy I Sold," and "Hello Sunny Weather," which are three of the more positive tracks on the album.
Considering this album was only recorded in two weeks, it is nearly perfect. The lack of studio time left some rough spots on the album, and it could have used a few more songs (there are a sparse ten tracks), but the positives far outweigh the negatives. Every fan of alternative music should have this album in his collection.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 6/16/05, written by Jason Ingersoll for Jesusfreakhideout.com
To begin, let me just say Poor Old Lu is one the most underrated bands I know. A Picture Of The Eighth Wonder is the first album by these guys I'd ever gotten, and I've got to say, it's also their best.
A Picture Of The Eighth Wonder begins with "Rail," a long, heavy track that feels more like a album-closer than an opening song, but is still good nonetheless. The next two tracks are good alternative rock songs, but then it slows down with the sad, but album highlight "What if Uncle Ben Had Lived?" The rest of the album follows with the signature POL tunes, only these ones are all better than what you would hear on previous albums. The main highlights are "Rail," "Receive," "A Better Me," "The Weeds That Grow Around My Feet," "Enough," and "Closing Down."
I loved this album, and I know you will too. Definitely Poor Old Lu at their best!JFH Reader Review: Review date: 6/16/05, written by David Larkin for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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