In an oversaturated and jaded music industry, Ben Crist's The Glorious Unseen embodies a refreshing take on the strength of song simplicity and heart felt authenticity. Produced by studio veterans Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd (Leeland, Jeremy Camp) Tonight the Stars Speak captures a beautifully expansive, room-filling ambience while maintaining the personal intimacy of Crist's vocal delivery. Rounding-out Crist's arrangements are studio performances by Cool Hand Luke's Mark Nicks and Sixpence None the Richer's Matt Slocum.
Born out of a yearning for spiritual connectedness with other like-minded Christians, Tonight the Stars Speaks unfolds as a continuous prayer-like confession in response to personally turbulent times. "Many of the songs are inspired from feeling disconnected or burdened with something" Crist recalls after facing the pain of a division within his home church, "Some songs are more intimate and personal. But all of them are written directly to God."
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Star Gazing gets Interesting with The Glorious Unseen| Posted January 07, 2009
Bored with Chris Tomlin and MercyMe? Well you are in luck because new band Glorious Unseen might be just the band you want to meet because of their policy to impact people spiritually instead of a ‘cheesy preachy way’. Even though the bands aim (with their debut project Tonight the Stars Speaks) is kids who listen to Underoath and As Cities Burn rest assured that their worship music is a far cry from Demon Hunter.
It’s always nice to see a band like Glorious Unseen who has a light melancholy approach to worship music that avoids being boring or drastically repetitive, though it can be a challenge to tell if lead singer Ben Crist’s vocals are lackluster or passionate. Leading the way for Tonight the Stars Speak (which features guest performances from Cool Hand Luke's Mark Nicks and Sixpence None the Richer's Matt Slocum) is their solemn sounding single “Hear Our Prayers” which has a good light guitar driven sound, with some very artistic background music.
While most of the first half of the album retains its melancholy sound the album does become more upbeat half way through with a slightly laid back version of David Crowder Band’s “Oh praise him” and despite the awesome intro the semi-upbeat “Wrapped Up In You” which is somewhat generic. Unchallenging music and some difficulty to distinguish the chorus from the verses’ make up a pretty bland title track. Although the album mainly centers around light guitar driven music, the solemn sounding “burn in me” uses an impressive piano instead; also the artistic background music is impressive except that it lasts too long. While the final track, “Close to your heart” seems to be a serene little ending ballad, kudos to Glorious Unseen for adding the extra electric guitar and solid music close to the half way point.
It’s probably a given that the music is merely leading the way to the main event: the spiritually impacting lyrics; However when it’s all said and done the Glorious Unseen probably have a smaller vocabulary than Chris Tomlin. “Hear our prayer” is a cry to God (‘God, see our tears that we're struggling to see through. /God, hear our prayers to You.’) while “forever holy” marvels Gods holiness while asking him to his presence also (‘You're forever holy. /God of my salvation, clothe me in Your glory.’). As with all of the track on the album, including anther prayer in “Tonight The Stars Speak”, are written directly to God.
The problems begin to arise with the jaw-dropping simplicity that Glorious Unseen is allowed to get away with and still be called ‘spiritually refreshing’. “Burn in me” offers shallowness (‘How my heart skips beats when/Your love excepts me as I am’) while “wrapped up in you” offers the simple truth: ‘God you're all I'll ever need. /To be with You’. Depth is not offered on the basic worship song “embracing the call”, and “meet us here” while is lyrically lacking “Hear Our Prayers” ‘And it makes me feel loved again/So close in your arms/And it makes me feel home again/So close to your heart’.
It pains me to ask say this but does Chris Tomlin has deeper lyrics than the Glorious Unseen? Tomlin’s latest Hello Love certainly covers more topics than Tonight The Stars Speak. But one thing that Glorious Unseen has over Tomlin and other similar style worship artists is a more interesting style of music which may attract those who may just want a better quality in their praise/worship music.
Ever catch yourself looking up into the star spangled night sky and feel the enormity and beauty of the cosmos crash in on you? The Glorious Unseen's Tooth & Nail debut, Tonight the Stars Speak, is a selection of those transcendent moments committed to music.
The band shies away from the temptation to merely update "worship" with a sound that echoes contemporary pop/rock and instead chooses to capture, in substantive music, expressively poignant, sincere worship. Ben Crist and company bare their souls to God and, by proxy, invite the listener to join their heart-cry to God.
Crist's heart-wrenchingly delivered, husky rasp is a baritone suggestion of DMB's Dave Matthews and Coldplay's Chris Martin. His vocals perfectly compliment the album's laconic, honestly raw lyrics and intense musical quietude.
President Calvin Coolidge observed, "We do not need more intellectual power, we need more spiritual power. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen." There's more than a subtle hint that this line of thinking permeates the efforts of The Glorious Unseen on Tonight the Stars Speak: It is yearningly passionate, true worship- reflective, affecting and intensely personal songs.
Devotees of Chasen, Downhere, Shane & Shane, Starfield and Watermark would do themselves a great service by getting this disc!
Hear our Prayers| Posted July 10, 2009
I love this song. Its slow.. but its captivating. It almost brings you to the feet of Jesus forcing you to listen to him, and lift your burdens to Him. The voices are wonderful and soothing.
Worship music that is laid back and good.| Posted January 19, 2008
This is a worship album that is great to listen to when you are taking it easy and reading a book or magazine. I like how the music is slow and then builds to some great lite rock music.