Their debut album, With Abandon, opens with the modern rock song "Thicker." It immediately shows you the musical creativity of the Meeker siblings, who wrote all the songs on their album. Lead singer, Sarah, sings with clarity and crispness, similar to the voice of Sarah Masen. She and brother, Joshua, handle the electric/acoustic guitars while the youngest Meeker, Rachel, plays the piano and sings backup. The next song that caught my attention was "I Would Drown," where Joshua took over for lead vocals. It was a haunting song, causing me to stop what I was doing and listen. The rest of the CD is similar sounding- ending with a slow, jazz-like song called "Wait Forever." Overall, I really admire the way they've incorporated the piano and background sounds (like cicadas) into their songs to create the effect and mood. Their music left me either feeling i was in some horror movie, or in an enchanted land far away. Their lyrics are honest, profound and reflective. The overall theme of their CD, i find, is the reality of our frailty and error, and still we long to be loved so much. "Modern music with a thinking person's lyrics."
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The Desert Island Winner| Posted August 08, 2008
Music reviews don't actually tell you much about an album. "Writing about music is like like dancing about architecture," so the quote goes. One solution is just to tell readers what you like to listen to, and if they like that stuff, they'll probably like whatever you award a positive review. If you want to go that route, check my profile for what else I enjoy.
Even so, "With Abandon," the one and only Chasing Furies album, is so good it deserves at least an attempt at accolades.
So you'll know where I'm coming from, I was born in 1961, have attended maybe a dozen Cornerstone Fests, and have enthusiastically built a music collection over several decades. What I look for in an album is the music, the lyrics, how well the two support each other, and, if it's there, the cohesiveness of an album and how the songs work together.
Lyrically, there are too few albums that take you someplace interesting. I'm not against straightforward lyrics in a praise song, but I do like some mystery, poetry and picturesque themes to paint an image and let the story breathe. In "Thicker" you hear Sarah grieve a friend who drifted away from clarity into the fog. What she remembers most about her friend is their laughter. It's a simple yet powerful lament, and expresses the sadness of wanting so badly to reach someone.
Another example is from the song, "I surrender," The lyric says, "I let you in with good intentions, and soon you'd stolen what I should have given." It's a deep thought expressed in a few words, and worth spending some time with.
Musically, there's a lot to like. The song "Thicker" opens with a quiet piano piece that is soon overwhelmed by drenched guitar. The juxtaposition is dramatic and does a great job of adding tension to the song while showing the move from the clarity and simplicity of the piano solo to the fog of the full band.
"I would drown" uses guitar effects to give an underwater feeling to the song, and the vocals also have a hollow, processed tone. In the background you hear a swaying vocal part that brings to mind seaweed swaying to the surge of the sea. It's touches like these that run throughout the album, making it the rare album where the sonics truly support the imagery of the lyrics. This is so rare that even if the music were second-rate melodically, it would be worthy of mention. That it's not second-rate is what makes this such a special album. You could buy it just for the melodies. You could get drawn in by the lyrics. The way they work together is transcendent. I am not often moved to drop everything and offer praise, even during praise songs. I can agree with the words and be thankful they are true, but not connect emotionally. This album, especially, "I Surrender" and "Enchanted" get me there with no effort. It's powerful stuff, and though the music is too hard to be added to the hymnal, it's my favorite praise album.
There's plenty to discover, both lyrically and musically on this collection (if you enjoy it, Sarah got married and is producing new music as Sarah MacIntosh, though nothing as dramatically wonderful as this album). As mentioned in the title, if I had to choose only one album in my collection to take on a deserted island, this would be it. Get yours while you can still find a copy.
Words Cannot Express...| Posted September 27, 2007
I cannot express in words how awesome this album is. Although its the only album that Chasing Furies released, it is by far a classic to be cherished for years to come. Something about this album connects deeply within my soul...it's music that you don't just listen to, you feel it. I have owned several copies of this album because I have worn them out over the years. I've heard this album described as "Modern music with a thinking person's lyrics" and that is so true.