GlassByrd may be a new name to listeners, but the artists are no strangers.
GlassByrd teams singer/songwriter and former Common Children frontman Marc
Byrd with his wife Christine, who is best known for her solo work as
Christine Glass and endless background vocal credits. The duo's debut
project Open Wide This Window is hardly their first work together. In the
summer of 2000, the two contributed to the Forefront Records worship
compilation with the song "The Earth Cries Out" under the artist name Adore.
Some may also remember Adore's two-song contribution to Essential Records'
Our God of Wonders Volume One. That album's insert also announced the Fall
2002 release of Adore's first project. But that project never came, and soon
the husband/wife group didn't resurface till early 2003 appropriately dubbed
Open Wide This Window is another worship project to add to your vast
collection, but it's hardly a typical project. While the sound doesn't stray
all that far from most recent Common Children tracks, GlassByrd is its own
entity. The dreamy and melodic alt pop/rock makes for an intimate worship
setting. And don't scoff at their choice to cover the renowned "God of
Wonders." If you're familiar with the song and its origins, you'll know Byrd
shared the writing credits with Steve Hindalong. In fact, Byrd or Glass had
their hand in each track on this project (sometimes accompanied by other
writers like Hindalong and Andrew Thompson). But of the Byrd and Glass
teaming, it's Byrd's influence that shines through the strongest.
The only problem I've found with Open Wide This Window is that the sound
doesn't differ enough from much of Marc Byrd's work with Common Children.
Since 1998 when the band traded its grunge sound for a more melodic and
artistic approach, Byrd has been producing a lot of music with the same
overall feel. For those not familiar with the Children, GlassByrd will be an
altogether fresh sound to worship music for them. And for those who enjoyed
much of the sound City On a Hill offered, this project is right up their
alley. But just because a feeling of familiarity and sameness permeates
Open Wide... that hardly means it is a forgettable project. "I Stand
Amazed" is a standout track with humbling lyrics and an intimate musical
backdrop that will send chills down the spine of anyone with a heart for
worship. "Everywhere I Turn" offers a Lifehouse meets Sixpence feel as a
prominent acoustic guitar leads into Christine's silky soft and tender
vocals. "I Love You More" is another highlight as Glass's angelic vocals
sing out praise to a deliciously chunky electronic beat, "I love You more /
I love You more than this... For any words I have to bring to You are not
enough / For there's no melody so sweet as Your love / So all creation with
me waits for the healing / Until that day, I'll sing Your praise from here."
"Mercy" is a conscious acknowledgement of God's ability to be quick to forgive
and pick us up when we've fallen. "Wake Up" is an upbeat and fast paced pop
rocker that changes things up slightly for the project. Open Wide This Window
ends on a strong note with the delicate sounds of "Jesus You Are
Beautiful" (complete with a tasty drum loop) and the anthemic worship ballad
"Peace To You."
GlassByrd offers an artistic depth to Worship music that helps their debut
Open Wide This Window stand out from the rest in the genre. So while it
may occasionally suffer from a strong likeness to Common Children's later
work, this duo has much to offer musically and lyrically making Open Wide This Window
a worthy debut.
- Review date: 4/30/03, written by John DiBiase