The Normals

A Place Where You Belong

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After a couple of discs that seemed to be searching for an identity, the appropriately titled A Place Where You Belong seems to have found exactly that. The second disc as a five-piece (after the Better Than This debut was recorded as a trio) sticks to simple, heartfelt melodies and the voice of main songwriter Andrew Osenga to propel lush soundscapes that all fit nicely into the adult alternative realm. At times, the musicianship and his vocals recall Peter Gabriel's more straightforward fare, especially on the spiritual "Grace," which could be a "Biko" B-side and fits nicely alongside Sting's output. As the CCM market turned to a point where you were either blaringly loud or a clear-cut gospel act, it's good to see the Normals not only fill the niche, but do it so convincingly and well.

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