Friday, August 19, 2011

MIKESCHAIR: A Beautiful Life Review

MIKESCHAIR is that unmistakable group that brought us their self-titled debut on CURB records last year, featuring the four chart-toppers, “Can’t Take Away,” “Let the Waters Rise,” “Keep Changing the World,” and “Straight to Your Heart.” That alone should keep the foursome busy for a while, but now they deliver the anticipated follow-up, titled A Beautiful Life. Does it surpass the excellence of their CURB Records debut? Let’s find out:

A Beautiful Life begins strongly with the title track. At first sounding a bit weak, but building nicely by the chorus, “A Beautiful Life” speaks to the heart of someone who feels worthless, and reminds them that they are beautiful and were created for a reason. Right from the start, the fill-ins and guitar effects that make MIKESCHAIR’s music unique can be heard. The enjoyable pop track “Love Won’t Quit On Us” follows, encouraging the listener not to quit on love, as love won’t quit on us. Personally, I found this track to be my favorite track from A Beautiful Life.
“Save Me Now” is a beautiful prayer for deliverance, as the contemporary music mixes with strong strings excellently. “Someone Worth Dying For” follows perfectly, giving scenarios of people who feel no worth, but then twists around the questions with these hopeful lyrics: “You're worth it, you can't earn it/ Yeah, the cross has proven/ that you're sacred and blameless/ Your life has purpose.” The encouraging lyrics shine through this track, showing MIKESCHAIR’s focus on showing people their worth in Christ.

“You Loved Me First,” has a “Fireflies” by Owl City sentiment to it, with a pop tempo and electronic effects, as the lyrics are centered around 1 John 4:19. “The More,” sounding very similar to the band’s “Straight to Your Heart” single, speaks of letting go and letting God take control. The lyrics of this track were simply amazing and creative, making for even more of an enjoyable listen.

“All For You,” a very full contemporary track, is a timeless song of surrender to God. The string ending mixed with the overlapping lyrics of Mike’s vocals were the best part of the track in my opinion. “Ignite” speaks of igniting the flames – our passion for the gospel. Honestly, I wished this track had been a bit more upbeat, because of its strong, outgoing message, but it certainly was bold lyrically.

If you can imagine Falling Up’s “Contact” track, you can imagine “Pieces.” With booming drums and emphatic lyrics, “Pieces” is a prayer that God would take our broken heart and put the pieces back together. Another prayer, “Come Alive” slows things down a bit, asking Jesus to come alive in our life. Finally, “Gonna See Your Kingdom” ends A Beautiful Life, but not on a slow note surprisingly. An enjoyable pop track with plenty of awesome fill-ins, “Gonna See Your Kingdom” speaks of the day when we Jesus face to face, and of our longing for things to be restored whole.

Besides the radio singles, I wasn’t too thrilled with MIKESCHAIR’s debut, though their music certainly is creative and catchy. I do have to say that this project steps up things a notch. A Beautiful Life is a wonderful eleven-track project full of hope and encouragement to those feeling worthless, topped with a couple gold praise and worship songs. This album is sure to take off on Christian radio even more so than their debut!

Rating: 3.5/5
Release date: August 23, 2011

Track listing:
1. A Beautiful Life
2. Love Won’t Quit On Us
3. Save Me Now
4. Someone Worth Dying For
5. You Loved Me First
6. The More
7. All For You
8. Ignite
9. Pieces
10. Come Alive
11. Gonna See Your Kingdom

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