Building 429 seems to be searching for their own niche in the Christian music world. With a debut that saw loads of radio play and their breakout single "Glory Defined," followed by a sophomore effort that had a noticeably harder rock edge to many of the songs (which also garnered a few hits as well), the band is really looking to find their place in the industry. With their third album, Iris to Iris, they venture into the rather crowded genre of modern worship.
The album has a feel of almost cookie-cutter worship, matching the styles of Chris Tomlin and the like, but Building 429 pulls it off rather well. Lead singer Jason Roy's vocals have increasingly improved with each album the band has released, and this album is no different. His vocals soar and have a personal conviction to them, exemplified on tracks like "Singing Over Me" and the subtle "You Carried Me." The latter has an extended ending of almost a minute and a half, which makes it much longer than it should be. Other highlights include "Amazed," "Waiting to Shine," and the album closer "Grace That Is Greater," with which the band puts a truly unique touch on an old hymn, and serves as the only track that is not an original from the band.
At times, the album's lyrics can seem pretty profound and personal from Roy's songwriting, but others he tries too hard to fit too much into one song, as heard in "Incredible," where the verses sound repetitive with lines such as, "You have made the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the wind, and the fire, and the rain, it's so beautiful." It seems quite trivial, and lacks depth that other tracks like "Waiting to Shine" have, "Chasing after vapors left me cold / cause obscurity befalls me / like a diamond cased in coal / and your hand has been upon me / and your workmanship is true / and years I spent in darkness / made me long to shine for you."
For the most part, Building 429 can pull the worship act off pretty well, but I'd like to see more straight rock hits like "Glory Defined," "Fearless," and ballads like "No One Else Knows" that made them the band they are today. Iris to Iris is a good effort from the band, but fans of their debut may find it difficult to get into their latest release.- Review date: 2/15/06, written by Justin Mabee
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