About four years ago, rap wasn't the cultural trademark. Nope, that honorary title went to a genre of music just as dignified and thought provoking: Pop. Britney Spears and all of her clones were rising. And around this time, *NSync made their debut. Well, what to do with this? They were five young, good looking guys whose voices could go a bit higher than the average twenty-year-old's. They sang solo and in unison and were among the more popular acts of the time.
So what was CCM's answer to the aptly named "boy band"? Enter Plus One. Five young, good looking guys whose voices went a little too high. Needless to say, Christian teens and pre-teens around America ate up their new alternative. Oh, but we weren't the only ones who took notice. The Disney Channel played them on their Top 5 program, and the guys even played in an episode of Touched by an Angel. But eventually the boat had begun to sink, and it didn't take very long at all. Now, you're almost mocked if you say you like Plus One (Or any boy band, for that matter).
So Plus One needed something to revive them… to "reinvent" them, so to speak. Well, only three of the five members remain (Nate Cole, Nathan Walters, and Gabe Combs); and, with an almost totally different sound, Plus One can be proud that they've accomplished what they had intended to do.
In 2003, the band releases its forth album, Exodus. For those who donâ't know, "Exodus" means "Exit" and this couldn't be a more appropriate title. The exit from the boy band persona for the guys means leaving the all-out "pop" style for a more rock-friendly style instead. So, in essence, what you have is pop/rock. Though it feels very little like a pop or a rock disc, "pop/rock" is good label for this sound. The guys avoid the unison-filled choruses of the past and try for a much more mature sound.
Lyrically, they sing much more of God and the Christian life than previously. And it's much more blatant, while tracks on their older discs could be taken as songs of thanks to God or love ballads to that special girl. They even make an attempt at worship on the beautiful cover of the popular "Here I Am" (aka "Here I Am To Worship").
Plus One is a totally different band than they were four years ago when they broke out. Sure, you'll still hear the new music and be able to say it's Plus One, but it's really only because the voices are so engraved in our minds. Thumbs up to Plus One for their best and most accessible work to date. It will be interesting to see where they go in the future.- Review date: 11/08/03, written by Josh Taylor
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