Above the Golden State is a pop/rock outfit stationed out of Oregon. They play a melodic, driven style that
sounds somewhat reminiscent of Seven Places or David Crowder Band, or at times even some recent Weezer. It's nothing entirely new,
but their self-titled debut still varies enough from track to track to keep it feeling fresh, making for an overall enjoyable album.
The whole thing has a pop-lush feel to it, with some pianos and keyboards added in for good measure. It's poppy, but never too
poppy for its own good. Any of these songs would sound pretty good on the radio, but enough of them have a nice edge to them to keep
things interesting. Songs like "I Love You So" have a Weezer vibe to them while still maintaining a CCM sensibility. And when things
slow down ("Love," "Scared," etc…), things vary enough so as never to sound clichéd.
Though it's nothing groundbreaking, Above The Golden State is still a joy to listen to. The lyrics are also relatable,
to boot (The vulnerable "Scared" is a definite highlight). Some tracks fare better than others along the way, but for the most part,
Above the Golden State manages to avoid the usual pitfalls and craft an album that will certainly appeal to the CCM crowd, and may
even turn a few heads among the cynical.
- Review date: 7/20/08, written by Josh Taylor