So Much for Substitutes

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In June of 2003, Christian rock band Downhere released their sophomore project So Much for Substitutes. The Canadian threesome, composed of members Marc Martel, Jason Germain, and Glenn Lavender, noted the release as being more guitar-driven and lyrically transparent then their 2001 self-titled album. In an interview with the band's record label Warner Brothers Records -- Christian Division, bassist Lavender stated that So Much for Substitutes "is a much better representation of what we sound like in concert and has much more of a live feel overall."

The band points to their inspirations as being Pearl Jam, Coldplay, and Radiohead. However, in terms of follow Christian market artists, the band resembles the vocal style of Petra's John Schlitt and DC Talk's Kevin Max. Musically, the group bears similarities to Switchfoot, and a less produced Delirious.

Lyrically, Downhere wanted to challenge Christians to reexamine their priorities. Martel stated that the album's focus is two-fold: first, that life is a journey, and second, as Martel stated, " ... it's time we as believers get back to what's really important when it comes to what we believe and how we share that with others. God doesn't accept us putting half a foot forward, the fake facades we put on, and He certainly won't ever accept any substitutes."

Over all, the project is an interesting listen. While it will take several rotations of the disc to gain a good grasp of the individual songs, Downhere offers thought-provoking lyrics. However, with a handful of the songs somewhat depressing in nature, it makes for better listening on a sunny day when spirits tend to be higher and less susceptive to melancholy.

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