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Stand Review

by Jared Johnson

By this point in Avalon's career, it becomes clear that their vocal maneuverings and passionate clean pop belong in any discussion about the most talented and popular groups in CCM. And Stand proves their staying power. The album is a solid collection in a year when their contemporaries are still dabbling in traditional worship or harsher experimental sounds. The foursome stock up on more dance-laden synth hooks à la Savage Garden along with their trademark power vocals. A foundation of mature songwriting includes contributions by veterans Jason Ingram (Bebo Norman), Ian Eskelin (Krystal Meyers), and Russ Taff, the latter of whom adds guest vocals on the building ballad "We Will Stand." Several tracks are just as catchy and well produced as "Testify to Love," leaving one to wonder what could conceivably stop the album from truly taking off. Those seeking refined, radio-friendly CCM pop gems need look no further than album openers "The Other Side" and "Love Won't Leave You." Especially when compared to the dozens of sound-alike groups that compete for teenage listeners, Avalon delivers one of the finest and most mature collections in years.

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