Debut "Strong" but Maybe Not "Strong" Enough
Posted August 15, 2009
Rock trio Tall Tree has roots that run deep into music, not only in music, but also in family. This rock trio is made up of sisters Allison and Angela Gilland, along with brother David Gilland. Music has always been second nature to them considering their dad is a music pastor at their church. With the encouragement of their dad, and eventual producer Steve Cook, they finally hit the studio. Later the band entered the HearItFirst.com Battle of the Bands….and won! The release of their self-titled EP combines all the siblings musical tastes into one, resulting in a slightly diverse debut project. While many new bands either tend to have a strong message of God, or lack in this area, Tall Tree with their roots in ministry obviously get the point across with Who and what they stand for.
THE REVIEW OF THE EP
The EP kicks out with a strong song called….well “Strong.” The bass belts out hard throughout this alt-rock song, while Allison’s vocals, though soft, completely bring the message of the song across. The name of the song also perfectly fits the message- we’re weak, God is strong. And although the message isn’t new, it’s something that we need to be reminded of everyday of our lives.
“Cause I'm weak in my own self/But through You I'm strong/You fill me with unchanging grace/I can't overcome/So in Your arms I fall/I rest in Your unfailing strength”
“Sing of the Savior” is one of the acoustic tracks off the record. With the different styles of music combined, Allison carries herself very well in leading the vocals despite what style it may be, whether it’s rock, pop, etc. This piece is a gorgeous song with harmony that makes your heart soar. The drums tend to keep the same beat, which after a while gets a bit monotonous, but still the song is great. The violin adds great dynamics making up for what was lost with the drums.
The saying “it’s an oldie, but a goodie” seems to be ruling in music now days, as many artists are going back and picking up hymns to record. Tall Tree is no different as they perform the middle track on the album, “Be My Vision, Be My Song.” David leads the song in vocals with no help from his two sisters, but he may have needed their assistance. While the song is very good, harmony would have taken the song to the next step, as well as a build-up with the music also.
“Calling to You” holds a show down rock beat, sort of like the beginning track “Strong.” The harmony on the chorus adds an extra dynamic experience to the song. And it seems we hear songs that have a certain message from some artists and the message just doesn’t seem to “connect” well with you. For me “Calling to You” “connected” with my heart. Maybe it’s because of the season I’m going through in life, but whatever it was, the song made its point. The message shoots out with a beat of surrender. The song is an obvious song of a desperate cry out to God telling Him we need Him, and we will answer His call to “lay it down”.
“Your Spirit, oh Lord/You’re the One I’m desperate for/Hear me calling/Calling to You/For Your Spirit on my soul/ ‘Til my life overflows/With Your presence/I’m calling out to You”
The EP ends with “Your Blood.” The song begins with great acoustics, keyboard and light vocals, then builds up and ends with a strong rock outlet. The song aptly describes what Jesus blood did for us- He’s made us “clean because of [His] blood”
And I can see because of Your love/And I am clean because of Your blood/And I believe because of what You’ve done for me
Tall Tree’s debut takes a new step in the right direction and although not quite as strong as other debut projects, it still stands at a level with many new artists projects. Even though they’re not “popular” their stance is what makes them have music that stands out. From their humble beginning, God has called them and brought them to where they are now, and as they continue to keep their minds and hearts humbled before Him, He will take them to heights in their music that they’ve never experienced.
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