With early influences listed as Switchfoot, Flyleaf and Paramore, three-piece sibling band Scarlet Fade
have put out a handful of releases as an independent band dating all the way back to 2008, and now they are poised to make a larger impact on the music industry. Their new release on LLG Music Group, titled Worship
, finds the band leaving their rock roots behind, ushering in a pop-worship sound like Hillsong Young & Free and Shinebright. The 29-minute EP starts off with three dance-ready and youth-friendly pop songs, "Can't Get Enough," "Faithful" and "Fortress." The cheerfulness that permeates these first three songs can largely be attributed to the infectious guitar and synth hooks as well as the trio's joyful vocals. Though each song is catchy and vertically focused, the simplistic and familiar lyrics like "through every trial / in every storm / I know You will be faithful
" hinder the songs from reaching their fullest potential. To their credit, young listeners--who are clearly the target audience here--will enjoy being able to sing along quickly. "Til I See," "You Remain" and "Take Me To The Cross" take a shift towards a slower pop/rock worship sound that works pretty well for the band, but is still held back by safe execution. Their radio single, "You Remain," is the highlight of these three, speaking of the everlasting endurance of God's grace over a delicate piano and soft guitars. The album closes with a jump back to the sugary pop sound from the first half of the album, and possibly the best offering of the bunch, "Wilderness." The songwriting here, though still commonplace, is stronger and consequently more memorable. Overall, this is a well-constructed EP, almost on par with the production quality of big name Christian pop/worship artists. Scarlet Fade has enough talent to risk stepping off the trail that has been so heavily traveled, but even still any fan of youthful energetic pop music will be a good candidate to enjoy this release.
- Review date: 5/26/16, written by Christopher Smith