I don't like dreary days. Fortunately, I have found a sure cure to dreariness. Sherwood is an indie pop rock band from California, and they've brought the sunshine with them. The MySpace Records band has already made waves with their previous work, and are sure to do so again. Their new album, Qu, is an absolute delight.
Despite being released in October, Qu is pure summer fun. You will find yourself singing along, guaranteed. Sherwood has three vocalists, and this emphasis on vocals is clear throughout the album. It is first apparent on the a capella opener, "Shelter," a brief but thoroughly enjoyable tune with the trio harmonizing perfectly. Throughout Qu, the vocals are smooth, clean, and a general joy to listen to. "Hit The Bottom" has solo lines followed by a repeating gang line that will quickly get into your head. "Make it Through" features backing vocals in the chorus that could have come straight from the Beach Boys. Adding to the summer beach theme, we even hear some steel drums.
That said, Qu is a very diverse album. For example, "What Are You Waiting For?" is a solid pop rock tune, while "Around You" is a mellow love song. Furthermore, Sherwood has no trouble switching to more mature musical themes. In "Worn," the band sings about the weariness of life to the accompaniment of primarily acoustic guitar. One of the album's highlights, "Ground Beneath My Feet" sings of dying and going to Heaven. It climaxes perfectly as the three vocalists sing, "Now I look around to see the ground beneath my feet. Every second takes a thousand days away from me. If I close my eyes, I hear the gates swing wide. By the morning light, I will have seen both sides." "Free" also addresses the idea of freedom in Heaven. Meanwhile, "No Better" is a sensitive tune about troubles in a marriage. It's hard to pick a single stand-out track from this album, because they are all great. You won't find any filler tracks here.
There is very little worth criticizing about this release. Qu is alternately fun and serious, shallow and deep. It is consistently top-notch songwriting and catchy melodies. Sherwood is an exciting band, and they've released an excellent album that should not be missed.- Review date: 10/11/09, written by Timothy Estabrooks of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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