The Choir

Love Songs & Prayers

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After a decade of recording daringly progressive Christian music, the Choir issued this best-of compilation, chronicling their evolution from a pop group named the Youth Choir to an aggressively noisy guitar-rock band. The Youth Choir stuff is omitted, but their early art-pop is not -- including "Render Love," a CCM radio hit from the first Choir record. Consequently, there's a great deal of variety on this compilation. This band's music is perhaps most enjoyable one album at a time, since each record creates its own distinctive atmosphere. But the regrouping of these songs does call attention to certain constants in the Choir's sound: dark instrumentation, almost twisted childlike imagery, amiable melodies, and of course Derri Daugherty's boyish vocals. The result of this interesting mix is (and has always been) a sense of persistent hopefulness in the face of darkness; of wonder and evil and repulsion and innocence all mixed up together.

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