Worlds Away

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After the CCM pop band Crumbacher broke up, its lead vocalist/keyboardist (Stephen Crumbacher) and guitarist (Christopher Duke) recorded this album on their own. Crumbacher's hyper-pop production (pounding drum machines and melodramatic keyboards) remains too big for its budget, but signs of newfound maturity emerge nonetheless. Acoustic guitars and piano occasionally are allowed to upstage the electronics, and the songs achieve a vaguely Beatlesque melodic flair. Crumbacher's lyrics still rely too often on cliches ("She's got a rock in the heart place"), but they have significantly improved -- "Perfect Crime" is a stinging critique of TV news; "Latter Rains" attempts an almost Biblical epic sweep.