Mike's Music Review - The Letter Black - Hanging On By A Thread

My favorite up-and-coming band, The Letter Black, has finally released their much-anticipated new album (OK, it's out tomorrow, but I'm listening to a stream of it tonight.)

At any rate, the good news is that it is quite worth the wait. This is a terrific album, and barring any kind of creative disasters in their future, I can't see why The Letter Black shouldn't have a long and successful career in Christian music.

The album kicks off with the rocker "Fire With Fire" which sees the chorus as the weakest part of an otherwise fine little up-tempo power chord blaster. "Best of Me" is a great poppy song of which I've sung great praises already. The fact that the same band can do songs this different in style on the same album is pretty amazing in itself. But The Letter Black pulls it off without sounding like it's selling out its hard-rock pedigree for something more commercially acceptable for radio.

Other highlights: "There'll Come A Day" - and song about being physically separated from your significant other - and "More to This," which looks at all the darkness in the world before breaking into the more hopeful chorus. Lyrically, the verses are a bit clunky - terrorist attacks and overdrawn chequing accounts get linked as examples of a world out of control - but the chorus and wailing guitar more than make up for it. The title track rocks quite well, and "My Disease" sounds like it's straight out of a 1980s big hair band, and it rules!

Really, there's not a terrible song on the album. "Invisible" "All I Want," and "Believe" are a little pedestrian, but acceptable.

And as I've noted before, this is a band that reminds me a lot of Evanescence. The Letter Black front woman Sarah Anthony doesn't quite have the chops of an Amy Lee, but then, who does? Still, Sarah does a good job giving The Letter Black a fairly unique vocal sound, particularly when her and her husband Mark trade vocals in songs. And the more I listen to this album the more I think they also have a real Skillet vibe to them - at least in their production and orchestration. I mean, who doesn't like violins and strings backing a hard rock song?

In short, this album's a ton of fun. Buy it. And don't listen to the guys at Jesusfreakhideout on this one.
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