When you're a new band on the Christian music scene, it certainly can't hurt to have the enthusiastic endorsement of one of the industry's biggest players, namely Michael W. Smith. The band officially got its start after several years of playing worship music at its home churches in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a fact that doesn't really come as a surprise when you hear their songs. While these tracks aren't vertically structured for a congregation, the lyrics are simple and relatable enough for listeners of any age or place in life.
And with the experience that inevitably comes from five years of touring and recording, The Turning's major-label debut, Learning To Lose, ends up being a bit more seasoned than most freshman efforts. While the songs' content doesn't exactly break any new ground thematically, it's easy to see that the band invested plenty of effort in avoiding the usual cliches and making the songs personal, something that's especially evident on the encouraging strains of "For You" and the hope-filled closer "Heart Is Free." Equally refreshing is the soundtrack itself, with plenty of bombastic guitars and entrancing bass-lines that hold your attention from beginning to end.
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The Turning’s national debut Learning to Lose is the second release from RKT Music- Rocketown Records’ modern rock imprint. But don’t confuse them with labelmates Hyper Static Union. Whereas the guys from HSU are funk-fortified, the guys from The Turning are firmly grounded in the here and now of the modern rock scene. They are a “modern rock band” with a definite lyrical slant towards modern worship.
If you were to take Chris Tomlin’s talent for producing catchy songs, add a dash of Lincoln Brewster's lyrical creativity, stir in Rock ‘n Roll Worship Circus’ sonic edginess cut with the pop/rock flavoring of earlier David Crowder Band you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from The Turning. That’s pretty impressive company to be compared to when you’re just getting started. But it’s also where I see a quandary this album presents.
With so many great influences and a sound that closely emulates many of them, Learning to Lose is in danger of becoming “just another face in the crowd.” I agree with RKT founder Smitty that this album is full of “infectious songs.” The music is terrific. The lyrics are great. In fact, there are several songs like “Through All the Earth,” “For You” and “Heart Is Free” that have the potential to find their way into praise bands’ repertoires. Hopefully, given time and the freedom to experiment, The Turning will gain that “something” that will set them apart from their (numerous) peers.
The Turning possesses authentic zeal, undeniable talent and a high level of professionalism. They are sonically similar to Tree63, By The Tree, and all of the aforementioned bands. their debut is a solid and enjoyable listen. Give it a try- you’ve got nothing to lose… and you never know what you might gain.
Everything matters, and nothing's what it seems| Posted April 21, 2008
Pretty much the best CD that I own. And that's saying a lot if you could see my music collection. I could listen to this CD everyday for the rest of my life and not get bored with it.