The Choir - Free Flying Soul (CD)
The Choir has been putting out consistently really good music ever since their album "Chase the Kangaroo" came out in the late eighties, and "Free Flying Soul" is among their best. The melodies are strong, the arrangements interesting, and the lyrics are thoughtful and poetic. The sounds range from dreamy and shoegazerish, to driving and edgy. The songs, though diverse, fit together well, giving the whole thing a good sense of continuity and cohesion. The album is nicely bookended, opening with the whimsical "Salamander" which invites us to "climb on up. . .from the slippery dark", and ending with "The Warbler" with it's reminder that it's "already eleven o'clock." In between this opening invitation and concluding warning there is a heavy emphasis on relationships and family life, interspersed with spiritual reflection. Steve Hindalong is one who can write about ordinary life and family without coming across sounding corny or overly sentimental. Highlights are the beautiful "The Ocean" which celebrates the Body of Christ and the renewing love of God, the rocking "The Chicken", which takes a brutally honest look at the problem of evil and suffering, the humorous look at relationships in "Sled Dog", the confessional "If You're Listening", and the rolicking love song "Leprechaun". Every song on here is good though. Not an ounce of filler.
One final interesting note: out of the twelve songs on this album, seven of them are named after some kind of animal life.
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