Hailing from Jackson, Tennessee, five-piece rock band Greenwood has emerged onto the independent music scene with a sound that demands attention. Their new album, The Hope Dialect, is an eclectic journey into the hearts of five regular guys trying to make sense of life and faith. Having shared the stage with artists such as Anathallo, Plain White T's, and Day of Fire, Greenwood possesses a uniqueness that makes them stand out among other young rock bands.
The Hope Dialect begins with "Save Me," a humble song about crying out to God for salvation. One immediately notices the presence of a violin, an instrument Greenwood makes good use of throughout the album. "Nostalgia," a haunting and more abstract song, comes next on the album and is a nice change from the opening song. Following is "Sing Alleluia," a song that chronicles the faith of a boy. The song has a beautiful chorus that utilizes the violin quite nicely. The passionate "Arms of my Father" is next, easily my favorite song on the album. It reminds followers of Christ that absolutely nothing can separate them from God's love. "All I Ever Wanted" slows things down and is more somber in nature. It showcases the band's ability to combine faith and every day life with lines such as, "I stare at the cross hanging on my wall; it's just a memory of days which are behind me. The colours blend through violence of lenses of the recess of my soul." "Prom Queen" reminds listeners to be authentic, and "Burn" is an alternative praise song. "I'm Yours" brings the album to a nice if rather abrupt close, and showcases everything there is to love about Greenwood.
In a genre that pumps out bands by the second, Greenwood is a breath of fresh air. The band has been compared to Jimmy Eat World, and it is sometimes reminiscent of early Jars of Clay. However, Greenwood has a sound that is all its own. The vocals are raspy while still being clear, giving the songs an unpretentious and authentic feel. The music is different and varied enough to keep one's interest, however, at times one wishes Greenwood would slow down and take a breath. The violin stands out but does not overshadow the more traditional rock instruments.
Lyrically, the members of Greenwood make no attempts to hide their faith. From start to finish, The Hope Dialect explores the connection between God and man. However, unlike many Christian albums, the lyrics are not cliché. It is obvious that the members of Greenwood think deeply about their faith. Christians can find inspiration from this album and can also play it for their un-churched friends without embarrassment.
The Hope Dialect is a strong, poetic album from a band that deserves recognition. After listening to the album, one is amazed that it is from an unsigned band. Greenwood plays with confidence and skill. Those looking for something different than the average independent rock band will no doubt find satisfaction in Greenwood.- Review date: 12/19/05, written by Laura Nunnery
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