The boys from Orlando, Florida are back with their follow-up to 2006's The Story and The Song. Soaring vocals? Check. Piano? Check. Catchy, poignant songs about love? Check. In other words, Between The Trees' Spain has some very choice ingredients to make for quite a good piano-rock record.
If there's one thing that can really determine how much you're willing to spend time listening to an album, it's the opening track. And "We Can Try" does a fantastic job of filling that position. From the buzzy guitar riff through to the soaring, piano-driven chorus, it pulls all the punches, so to speak. When the title track rolls around, it's time for another bouncy love song; but after that it starts to slow down for "The One Thing," a pleasant but not entirely memorable ballad about being in love. Actually, the main problem with Spain is that most of the songs are about love in regards to relationships; God doesn't really factor into the lyrical content. This could bother some people, but let it be noted that most of the songs don't just portray love, but also commitment, so you could say Christian morals worked their way into the songs after all. That aside, it may also be said that this is no mere collection of hit-and-miss songs: only a couple - like "The One Thing" and "Gentleman" - fail to measure up to all the others musically (lyrically, they're much of the same). Every other track has at least one thing about it that engages, such as "Story of a Boy" with its clever integration of synth keyboard, or "Miss You" with its soaring falsetto vocals reminiscent of a Coldplay single. So, while the lyrical content of the album leans more toward the mainstream, musically it's a clever juxtaposition of rhythm and sound that can hold its own quite well among the flowing and ebbing tide of the music industry.
Between The Trees have managed to craft a worthy follow-up to their debut album. The melodies, arrangement, vocals… it's all good here. However, with the possible exception of "Changed By You," this album does not emanate any spiritual themes. But if this doesn't put you off, then fans of piano-rock bands like The Fray, Coldplay or Remedy Drive may have found just what they were looking for.- Review date: 8/10/09, written by Adam Dawson of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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