Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Frye Family Band: Under Indiana Lights Review

If there’s one type of band that thrills the listener, it’s a family band. The Frye Family Band is just that. Composed of parents Tom and Lisa, and their kids Jonathon, Maggie, and Kaylyn (ages 14-17 respectively), the family band focuses on finding hope in Jesus Christ even through the difficult times through their debut country project Under Indiana Lights.

The upbeat country track “Consume Me” is a prayer for God to have control of all of our lives, asking God to “consume me/ holy fire fall down from heaven/ fill my heart with love.” Tom’s vocals match the music perfectly, but the background vocals from the two girls is definitely a nice addition. The slower single “Where is God?” questions where God is during the struggles in life, but excellently answers the predicament with Emmanuel, God with us, Who promised to never leave us nor forsake us – definitely an encouraging track for those going through hard times.

“Your Love,” based on Proverbs 3:5-6, speaks about our natural tendency to want to fix things that aren’t working right, but it’s in the fall that we learn to trust in Jesus, while “I Shall Not Want,” based on Psalm 23 speaks of how Jesus is everything that we need. Both Scripturally-rich tracks lean on the slower side of things, though both, especially the latter, are quite catchy.

Not quite the best track on the record musically, but touching lyrically, “Sarah Dances” speaks of a girl the Frye Family met while on tour. Because she has Spina bifida, she will never dance in this life, like her mother does, but this track speaks of that glorious day when all will be restored, and Sarah, for one, will be able to dance in heaven. And while the harmonious “Little By Little” speaks of whether we will bend or break through the changes in life, “Loneliness” speaks of those who gain all their hopes and dreams but find emptiness in the end. I wish the track had progressed with more of an answer, but it definitely makes a great point.

It’s the lulling “I Remember” that brings the band’s album title, “Under Indiana Lights” into play. Reminiscing on “a lifetime of memories,” and the farmer family that helped Tom and his wife grow in the things of God, it’s a song of thanks and gratitude for all they did. “Dreams Come True” follows and is autobiographical of Tom’s life, speaking of the time that a worship band interpreted a dream that Tom had, setting Him free, and giving him guidance.

“Knight In Armor” is a sweet love song to Tom’s wife Lisa, while “The Greatest Gift,” which could easily qualify as a Christmas track, features the legendary Phil Keaggy, playing guitar. “Blue Silos” closes up the album on an upbeat note, with beautiful harmonies, and again acts autobiographical, telling the story of when Tom first saw the Blue Silos that caught his interest during family turmoil with his parents. That’s where the people he met ended up giving him guidance. Overall, “Blue Silos” is a great ending, describing what started The Frye Family Band in the first place. As a final closing, there are two bonus tracks, “I Surrender” and “The Greatest Gift (Rockabilly Version).”

It’s definitely great to hear an album from an entire family! Tom Frye leads the album, telling his stories of how God gave him hope and guidance when he most needed it. That hope is catchy, and you will be inspired through the excellent messages provided through this album. If you’re a fan of country music, this is an excellent mixture of country and worship!

Rating: 3.5/5
Release date: September 21, 2011

Track listing:
1. Consume Me
2. Where Is God?
3. Your Love
4. I Shall Not Want
5. Sarah Dances
6. Little By Little
7. Loneliness
8. I Remember
9. Dream Come True
10. Knight in Armor
11. The Greatest Gift (featuring Phil Keaggy)
12. Blue Silos
13. BONUS: I Surrender
14. BONUS: The Greatest Gift (Rockabilly Version)

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