Falling Into A Grand Finale| Posted November 17, 2015
One thing you can't ever accuse Falling Up of is playing it safe. While their early albums on a record label were arguably much more radio friendly, their music has always challenged the limits of what rock music could be. Going independent only took that into the stratosphere. Giving us perhaps more music after than before their first breakup, Falling Up have decided to call it a day for real this time. With one last crowd-funded release, their self-titled finale gives us one more musical adventure.
Really, this album is everything you'd expect from Falling Up. The quirky titles (often with little recognizable connection to their lyrics) are there. The cryptic, lengthy, mysterious, storyline-based lyrics are there. The lush and varied musical moments are definitely there. Be it synth driven hooks, excellent guitar stretches, or soothing chime and key interludes, Falling Up make music unlike any other band around.
Underneath the borderline nonsensical lyrics at times are profound statements on life and faith, wrapped in a story undercurrent that fits with their previous work. Falling Up is always a band to reference their past, and there are several of those moments peppered throughout this release. Jessy Ribordy is at the top of his game, as always, vocally. He can hit gruff rock vocals or soothing soft notes. His voice is so suited to these songs that it's hard to imagine them working under anybody else.
This is a sound that screams to be made into a movie score. This isn't an album built for radio or commercial success, but there are fantastic and unpredictable melodies and a dynamic range of musical offerings. The piano hook of "The Woodworker" is nothing short of enchanting. "Flora" has a guitar post-chorus hook that is a standout in the Falling Up body of work. "Wild Bird" boasts an insanely catchy rock chorus, while "The Insect" carries a surprisingly emotional and passionate ballad chorus.
Masters of both the soothing lullaby level ballads ("Up in Houses") and the catchy rock ("Flares"), the album has everything represented. This isn't easy listening: there's so much here that's good, it will take several listens to discover even half of it. This is a deep and rich musical experience that commands your attention. From the opening ethereal sounds of "Boone Flyer" to the chanting outro of "Flares," Falling Up's final bow is a terrific way to close out their collection.
The Bottom Line:
This bittersweet goodbye is a triumphant finale to one of Christian music's true high art bands, and I'm proud to have been a fan.
Song to Download Now:
"The Woodworker" (Get it on iTunes here.)