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JFH Music Review

Esterlyn, Call Out

Call Out

Artist Info: Discography
Album length: 8 tracks: 31 minutes, 27 seconds
Street Date: July 27, 2010

Worship is meant to be a pure expression of our heart to the Lord. Evidence of this can be found throughout the book of Psalms; emotions and feelings fill each word as it is sung to God. Joy, anger, sadness, peace, patience, suffering, courage, faith… the people of the scriptures went through the same feelings that everyone experiences. And to say the least, it's refreshing to hear worship songs that have honest words that don't deny humanity but glorify the greatness of God. With the latest release from Esterlyn, we are given just that in Call Out.

The album opens strong with the title track as lead singer Luke Caldwell sings "Call out, call out wherever you are. Call out, call out when it's all crashing down. From the top of your lungs let your voice rise up. Call out! Call out!" The track has a sound reminiscent of One Republic minus the falsetto. It's a raw and real song about calling out to God whether you're on top of the world or broken. This is followed by "Can't Miss This," a song that pleads to the Lord to reveal the purpose and meaning in this life.

"Now You're Found" is a beautiful song that takes the perspective of the creator talking to His creation; inviting us to lay in his arms and find rest. Unexpectedly one of the best tracks on the album is a cover from Hillsong, "Freedom Is Here." Esterlyn did an excellent job; they took a song that has been done before and made it sound totally different and kept its integrity intact. In all honesty, it's an improvement on the original. And while on this high note, they continue with another great song that shows off another side of Esterlyn with "El Shaddai." With the soft strums of the acoustic guitar and hints of the banjo, the song bends more toward the folk side of music but is truly a good listen about the power of the name of Jesus.

"Lord Is Good" introduces a hint of rhythm to the sounds of Esterlyn. At first listen it might not be ear catching, but after listening to the lyrics and melody it really proves to be another great song singing of the character of the loving Father that we have. However, "You're My Treasure" doesn't continue in this greatness. It's not a bad song, but it doesn't have the impact that the other tracks do. While yes, focusing on how God is meant to be our treasure is true, it feels like it loses the personal emotion behind the worship. Thankfully, "Esther" returns us back to that intimate calling out that should fill our songs that are to the Lord. This is truly one of the most powerful songs on Call Out as it really sings of how Just our God is as the lyrics simply say, "He knows your name." In today's world, we all need to be reminded of that.

Truly, Esterlyn has given an offering that sticks with the theme of calling out to the Lord. Call Out is filled with raw intimacy and realism. The only complaint that can come to mind would be that it feels so short and will leave the listener wanting more. Regardless, the album is one needed for today's worship scene. While Sunday morning church services are filled with people who wear masks to hide what's really going on inside, Esterlyn's music encourages the listener to be real before God and call out to Him. This is an album that has the characteristics of the Psalms and the heart of worship.

- Review date: 7/25/10, written by Ryan Barbee of

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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

Dubbed by some as one of Christian music's best kept secrets, indie-rockers Esterlyn established themselves two years ago as a viable and talented act with the formidable Lamps and its soulful follow-up Mending the Meaning: Acoustic EP. For their third project, titled Call Out, it seems Luke Caldwell and friends take a different route than previous ventures, aiming for one strictly worship-based. The upbeat pop-rock sounds of Lamps are long gone, but the sound is far more developed than Mending the Meaning. Yes, Call Out does not especially follow suit with either of Esterlyn's previous projects, but it could be argued to be a sound that is the sensible middle ground. Nearly every track has at least one special attribute, whether it is a profound line or two ("Will You show me what I'm living for?/I can't miss this/My heart beats and hurts for something more/I am listening" from "Cant Miss This") or a particularly inventive musical atmosphere ("Freedom Is Here," "El Shaddai"). On the negative side, there are at least a few times in Call Out where the songwriting is almost a little too straightforward where a more poetic approach would have made a better fit (most specifically in "Lord Is Good"), as well as a couple moments where the Caldwell's vocals are maybe stretched a tad too far out of his range. But drawbacks aside, Call Out is exemplary of worship music that's both gripping and thoughtful, just like it should be, and Esterlyn's third outing is a resonating triumph as a result. - Roger Gelwicks


. Record Label: VSR
. Album length: 8 tracks: 31 minutes, 27 seconds
. Street Date: July 27, 2010
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It:

  1. Call Out (3:25)
  2. Can't Miss This (4:25)
  3. Now You're Found (4:17)
  4. Freedom Is Here (3:24)
  5. El Shaddai (4:52)
  6. Lord Is Good (3:29)
  7. You're My Treasure (3:34)
  8. Esther (4:07)





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