Something Like Silas

Divine Invitation

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Something Like Silas hail from San Diego's Flood fellowship, and their Divine Invitation long-player heralds a new chapter in the "worship music" subgenre of CCM. Creating a sound that borrows from their favorite secular bands -- Coldplay, Sigur Rós, Radiohead, U2 -- Something Like Silas nonetheless infuse these appropriations with a solid passion and energy that carry within them the spark of originality, particularly in the dynamic manner in which they arrange their material and in songwriter Eric Owyoung's unpretentious, direct, yet non-generic lyrics. Usually, worship music presents a series of small verses bounded and rounded by big crunching refrains. These young people are more interested in crafting great songs in which the body of a lyric is sophisticated enough to be unafraid of the edges and actually spills over into the hooky refrain, giving the entire enterprise a poetic weight and depth. Owyoung is the perfect frontman for this quintet, as evidenced by the album's opener, "Creation's Call," interjecting pathos into the band's tilt-a-whirl rock and making it soar, as guitars crackle over the popping thud of toms-toms and the ringing of cymbals. The title track, with its beautiful electric piano intro, offers a pastoral intro to a slowly building tension that finds its release in the song's prayerful refrain. Owyoung's lyric offers his hymn as a realization that he belongs in the depth of his God's being; inseparable from it, he is held fast and nurtured in that knowledge. He moves into the music's power and releases everything in its rippling heart. CCM veteran Steve Hindalong of the Choir produced this set with help from his bandmate Derri Daugherty; they weave elegant textures and spacious sonic ambiences around the band's songs, as evidenced by the sheer riff-heavy rock & roll crunch of "When I Search" and the wide-open pillowy drift of "Better Is One Day." The closer, "I Fall," is a moody, sparse piece of pop mysticism. It seeks the heart of divine silence with elegiac tempos and a softly meandering approach to the tension that lies in attempting to express need and gratitude, eclipsing that tension with a single surge of power before winding its way back into the quiet. Divine Invitation is a fine debut and bears repeated listening. Something Like Silas are a band whose development will be a pleasure to witness.

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