The Waiting

Unfazed

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    9
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One of those rare albums that feels wholly crafted to be an album, carrying the listener along on terrain carefully mapped and emotionally guided. The road runs from outright faith and awe of God to admissions of failure and despair, with pleas for strength, recognition of selfishness, and a return to ultimate, undying, and hard-won faith. Probably a landmark Christian rock album, although the lyrics slightly suffer (if only when compared to the heady days of Blue Belly Sky). The textures on Unfazed are sonically rich and Todd Olsen's guitar is powerful and inventive; he belongs in a category with Lindsey Buckingham and Dave Navarro, while sounding not like either of them. The music punches, rocks, and grooves so beautifully one cannot imagine better versions or takes. Brad Olsen's voice shows no strain now and greater inventiveness, reminding the listener of when Michael Stipe really started to hit his stride. The rhythm section is muscular and spot-on; kudos all around. All the songs are great, with "I Am," "The Company You Keep," "Make It Disappear," "Speak," and "Too Many Miles" deserving special mention.

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