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JFH Music Review

Stars Go Dim, Grace In The Wilderness

Stars Go Dim
Grace In The Wilderness

Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Pop Rock / Pop
Album length: 13 tracks: 41 minutes
Street Date: April 29, 2022


Sometimes a good pop song can be just what is needed on a long day. Much like a carbonated drink on a sweltering summer afternoon, a smooth pop song can hit just right. With that image in mind, Tulsa, Oklahoma's Stars Go Dim has been spinning out well-crafted pop rock songs for more than 15 years now (both as an independent and major label band) and their latest, the fizzy and heartfelt Grace In The Wilderness, is just the kind of carbonated album that delivers songs that go down easy and refresh the soul.

With comparisons to such bands as OneRepublic (who have been around nearly as long as Stars Go Dim), and artists like Jordan Feliz and Colton Dixon, Grace In The Wilderness is both ambitious on one level, and perhaps too familiar at times on another. With three songs right at the beginning of the album that all have "love" in the title, Stars Go Dim could have used a bit more variety in the track order. But the open salvo of songs are well crafted, catchy, and uplifting, and that is no small thing. Opener "This Is Love" builds nicely as a beginning tune. With a stuttered beat and electric piano base, lead singer Chris Cleveland's fantastic, soulful tenor voice echoes out: "Wanted to run, wanted to hide, wanted to give up / Losing my grip, out of my mind, trying to make sense of / All that I heard and all that I felt just didn't add up / It wasn't what I was I told / Nothing like I had known / What is this feeling / It's something I can't control / Rising up in my soul / More than a feeling / Hard to believe it / Got me saying / Oh oh oh, this is love / This is love / Oh oh oh, showing up / When it gets tough."

Second track "Already Loved" is one of the album's highlight songs, with a heartfelt message directed to the Instagram generation. With a dynamite chorus and vocal delivery from Cleveland, the tune expresses the love of God in our social media times: "It's gotta be lonely / Only showing people highlights of your life / When you've got hurt inside / But there is an answer / The one who takes burdens of your sin and shame and gives you grace / He'll take the weight off your shoulders / And give you faith to remember You're already loved / You don't have to try / To be enough / Come just as you are / There's nothing you could do that could ever change / He's always been this way / You're already loved / You're already loved" (Reviewer's note: As the father of two teens in this generation, this song hit the spot in the continued conversation we're having about image, worth and God's love.)

Grace In The Wilderness is a tuneful set of songs that perhaps start to run together as the album moves along. But the project does win points for sincerity and sheer enthusiasm. The particular kind of pop found here is perfect for the warmer months of the year and will sound great from a stage at a festival or blasting out of the windows of the car on a road trip. Stars Go Dim have crafted a solid pop-rock album, full of heart, soul, and enough beats to fill up your summer.

- Review date: 5/12/22, written by Alex Caldwell of

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. Record Label: Curb | Word Entertainment
. Album length: 13 tracks: 41 minutes
. Street Date: April 29, 2022
. Buy It: Apple Music
. Buy It: (CD)
. Buy It: Amazon Music (MP3)

  1. This Is Love (3:12)
  2. Already Loved (2:46)
  3. What Your Love Can Do (3:05)
  4. Live Like That (3:46)
  5. Give Yourself Away (2:54)
  6. Satisfied (2:47)
  7. Thank God (2:54)
  8. Wasted (2:32)
  9. When We All Get To Heaven (3:30)
  10. Prepare The Way (4:16)
  11. Authority (In The Name Of Jesus) (2:55)
  12. Yes He Does (3:27)
  13. Grace In The Wilderness (3:11)



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