Pop/rock Georgian quintet After Edmund is yet another emerging act to be listed on the roster of artists for Slanted Records. Although they are not a "familiar" band at the moment, they hope to become a fresh face in today's music industry. Hello serves as the band's national debut, and a friendly introduction to music listeners far and wide.
The rock 'n' roll opener "Thank God" speaks of how we should be thankful that we have a hope in our God as well as a place of safety within His arms. Musically, it has bits of techno flavorings sprinkled throughout and is arguably the album's strongest track. "Fighting For You (Let It Go)" adds a Jonezetta-esque feel to the record while lyrically stating how we need to let go of our past and surrender our hearts to God's freeing love, whereas the guitar-laden and bass-driven riffs of "Everyone" evoke an encouraging letter of hope to the brokenhearted. The Jackson Waters-esque mood of "Like A Dream" depicts the saving grace and healing mercy that our Creator offers us and how His amazing love can seem almost unfathomable, as evidenced in the chorus, "Like a dream coming true, I believe in You."
"Darkest Room" is one of the two tracks on the debut that has little or no lyrics at all, producing only a beautiful piano symphony that leads right into "Come and Rain Down," a song that has it all: swirling guitar hooks, heart-pounding drum beats, and a plea for rescue directed to Jesus to deliver us from the sense of worthlessness, depression, and abandonment that we can feel from time to time. The upbeat tempo of "Tears" reveals that we can't hide behind our tears because they unmask our brokeness and our search for the antidote. "Stealing Away" possesses a Keane feel and unveils the fact that we need God's forgiveness to erase all the harbored sin within our lives, while also serving as a plea to God to captivate every part of us.
"Go Oboe" is the second track that involves a symphonic piano piece, but this time haunting synths are mixed in as well as the repetitive use of "Hello" echoed by the band members during the last few seconds of the track. "Clouds" is a worshipful rock anthem illustrating the spirit of ectstasy we feel when we are close to God, while the pop/rock tune "It's Alright" tells us that even if there is no tomorrow, everything will be okay because of the certainty we have of knowing that our God is living and dwelling inside of us. The finale of "To See You Leave" is an organ-driven acoustic ballad written as a sad goodbye to a dearly loved one, closing the record in an appropriate manner.
You may think this collection of music resembles a whole slew of other artists and bands, and you are correct. And yet, After Edmund has managed to incorporate their own distinct flavor to their particular genre, which most likely will grab the attention of their listeners. I will admit that the group has quite a ways to go before becoming widespread, but I will also say that their debut Hello seems to say that they are moving in the right direction.- Review date: 7/8/07, written by Laura Sproull
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