The Museum came together as a band when singer Ben Richter and guitarist Geoffrey Ashcraft met church janitor Josh Kirk, who also happened to be a drummer and programmer. The eventual addition of bassist Chris Brink made them a quartet, and a musical mission trip to Romania (where they were sent by a museum commemorating that country's resistance movement during the Communist regime) gave them their name. Let Love Win is their debut album, and if their sound at this point isn't terribly distinctive, it's certainly unusually mature and well-developed for a band just starting out; this is solid, meat-and-potatoes Christian rock that occasionally nods crunchily toward an indie edge, but never quite gets there. Not that they should have to, of course; there's nothing wrong with meat-and-potatoes rock & roll, and when they rock the hardest, their Christian message sounds the most sincere. When they indulge in power ballads (such as the forgettable "My Help Comes from the Lord" and "The Call") they tend to succumb to the excesses of the genre, but midtempo burners like "Never Look Away," "You Are Love," and the excellent "Radiance" are as hard-hitting as any secular rock song. And "The Only One" shows that they can make the power ballad work: the hook in the chorus will stick with you for days. Let Love Win may not break any new stylistic ground, but again, there's no real reason why it should. There's still plenty of solid, meat-and-potatoes rock & roll worth making.
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