Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Choir: Burning Like the Midnight Sun

The Choir has been around for nearly three decades, recently releasing Burning Like the Midnight Sun, their 12th album! The members of the band said that they chose to bring out the best of their best on Burning Like the Midnight Sun, as they show off their Indie rock sound, very comparable to House of Heroes.

I did find The Choir's latest album a bit hard to follow, but after careful listening and research, it is easy to hear the band's "celebration over enduring relationships" as drummer Steve Hindalong shared. The title track, "Midnight Sun" shares this message with these lyrics: "I'm burning like the midnight sun/ I'm not going down."

"That Melancholy Ghost" is a bit strange, (already obvious from its title), but tells the story of how the drummer tried to fix his daughter's problems, but was unable to do so -- he could only be there to watch her cry. "Mr. Chandler" appears a bit strange as well, but is actually quite hilarious after hearing the story behind the album. After band member Tim Chandler received a ticket with his name spelled wrong, the flight attendant called him and told him that he could not board the flight because of his fraudulent ticket. :)

"Between Bare Trees" is just a touch bland, as the writer shares how his wife loves nature and can identify plants by their characteristics. I actually felt like I was listening to a love song written in a science lesson, so I didn't find this song to be quite my style. "A Friend So Kind" begins with a touch of a futuristic feel similar to what you would expect from Falling Up's Captiva CD, and progresses into a nice acoustic track. In this song, the band speaks about Tom Howard, a dear friend who died after he had made an impact on the band members' lives. (Howard was actually the string director in "God of Wonders" and died last year of a heart attack.) The band does use a mild swear word in there, which I felt was rather unnecessary.

"Legend of Old Man Byrd" was quite hard to follow, and about all I understood was that the incident took place on a stormy day in 1970, while "I'm Sorry I Laughed" talked about how humans usually laugh at others misfortunes. "The Word Inside The Word" actually carried a great message, speaking of all the relgions there are in the world and, as the drummer shared, the "word inside the word is love," the only thing that will overcome.

"It Should've Been Obvious" was also hard to follow, but carries a great message about how easily we can do stupid things without thinking, and then look back to see the results of our actions that should have been obvious. "Invisible" was just...strange. Not only does it make reference to alcohol, it also makes reference to demonic forces "racing through my dreams" and "chasing me." Thankfully, Hindalong shares that Christ has already won against Satan, but I still found the track to be quite confusing. On another note, this track was very upbeat, and was musically, one of the best tracks on the record.

"Say Goodbye to Neverland" ends the album on a very sad note, with a very futuristic feel that could almost make the listener begin to cry along. The track has a powerful message of forgiving yourself and not looking back.

The Choir's Burning Like the Midnight Sun was very enjoyable musically. The Indie rock sound was enjoyable, as was the futuristic touch added to it. However, I found the lyrics very hard to follow, and unless one does research to each track, he will be scratching his head wondering what on earth each rhetoric means. I would definitely suggest this project to fans of Falling Up and House of Heroes, because the music and lyrics are very similar. But for me, this just wasn't my favorite.

Rating: 3/5
Release date: June 29, 2010

Track listing:
1. Midnight Sun
2. That Melancholy Ghost
3. Mr. Chandler
4. Between Bare Trees
5. A Friend So Kind
6. Legend of Old Man Byrd
7. I'm Sorry I Laughed
8. The Word Inside the Word
9. It Should Have Been Obvious
10. Invisible
11. Say Goodbye to Neverland

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