It's a rare thing in today's music world to get really excited about a new artist. Flicker Records' latest signing, Wavorly, hails from Tupelo, Mississippi and is one of the first new acts of 2007 truly worth getting thrilled about. Their debut, Conquering The Fear Of Flight, is a smart blend of alt rock, pop, and even a hint of worship, glazed over to near perfection with an appreciation for theatrics.
Conquering The Fear Of Flight has an epic feel with its classical intro, outro, and interludes sprinkled throughout the album that have more of a soundtrack feel than the more common uses of them. Vocalist Dave Stovall wrote each composition and they flow seamlessly between the aggressive and more melodic moments on Conquering. "Madmen" bursts through the subtlety of the opener with its edgy rock vibe and anthemic delivery. The song is a call for change and a call to action for the Christian culture, while the follow-up, "Part One" is a distinctly tragic look at someone who chooses hell over heaven. Inspired by the C.S. Lewis book "The Great Divorce," "Part One" is complimented a few tracks later by "Endless Day," which takes a look at the choice of heaven over hell. Wavorly's lyrics, which are often a shared effort among the members, are often deep and thoughtful, giving the listener plenty to chew on. "Forgive and Forget" is one of the record's many highlights, urging those hanging on to hurts to let go when Christ has done even greater things for us, "How could I choose not to forgive? / With everything you choose to forget / And still we will be loved." "Praise And Adore (Some Live Without It)" may have the sound and feel of your usual worship song, but the single takes praise a bit further by pondering those who don't know Christ, "I praise and adore / You made the world beautiful / I cannot stand and deny / You created life / And some live without it."
The band's previous incarnation as indie act Freshman 15 displayed much more of a pop/punk dressing than its current form. Stovall's earnest vocals bear a bit of a semblance to the genre's style, yet show diversity as well as versatility, as he gets a chance to express his feelings for his longtime girlfriend softly in the tender "Summer Song," and at the same time carry the more rock-driven tracks like "Forgive and Forget." But even when songs like "Time I Understood" show a bit more of the band's past influences, it's lines like, "Sometimes I try and I miss the point of it / It's about time we die… we're not down here for us," that carry more poignance than you've come to expect in accessible indie rock like this. Wavorly's freshman project (pun not exactly intended) is hardly predictable, offering surprises throughout and a little of something for everyone.
The fourteen-track Conquering The Fear Of Flight may be one of the more clever pop/indie rock records to come out of the Christian music market in a while. A delectable musical journey, Wavorly's debut is a welcomed diversion from the sea of like records in a flooded rock genre.- PReview date: 5/5/07; Review date: 6/10/07, written by John DiBiase
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