Founded by lead singer Shane Bowers and keyboardist Shaun Bennett, youth group phenomenon Julian Drive additionally comprises guitarist Jesse Triplett and bassist James Nitz. After playing the local church circuit near its hometown of Athens, Georgia for some time, Julian Drive entered and won the 2004 Exalting Him National Talent Search, beating out 2000 other contestants. This platform provided opportunities for the band to perform nationally, sharing the stage with such artists as Big Daddy Weave, David Crowder Band, NewSong, Day of Fire, Disciple, Israel Houghton, Tree 63, Building 429, Salvador, The Katinas, and David Phelps, among others. Today Julian Drive continues to travel from coast to coast, performing an average of 200 dates annually.
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Julian Drive [My Coming Day]| Posted January 25, 2009 [MAIN REVIEW]
New Inpop Records band Julian Drive has Georgia roots and won the 2004 “Exalting Him” talent search contest. The band has toured extensively leading up to the national release of their major label debut album “My Coming Day”. They are a ministry-oriented Southern alt-rock band. They have songs that immediately reminded me of Country superstar band Rascal Flatts and Christian country band 33Miles. They also have ballads and vertical worship songs that reminded me of CCM artist Mark Schultz.
The album’s debut single “From Your Hands” is a great example of the vertical worship style of the album. The song came from an experience that the band had while touring. Their bus had broken down and nobody wanted to sleep. Their guitarist Jesse Triplett started playing on his guitar and came up with a country-rock melody and lead vocalist Shane Bowers came up with lyrics to match the melody. Message-wise, it is one of my favorite songs on the album with the sincere chorus “True Love was pouring, True Love was pouring from Your hands”. The song is about the purest and sweetest love that has ever been, with the crucifixion as the backdrop. It is a great love song in the style of the hit Tenth Avenue North song “Love Is Here”. “Always There” has a great biblical message about relying on God’s Word as a guide. There are parts of the song that come right from Psalms and the style is country-rock. The next song “Cry” has an amazing 2nd verse “Believe Your voice, believe Your word, stand so strong even when it hurts, Gotta let it go, let Your light show”. The style resembled “God Of Life” by Mark Schultz. Those first 3 songs really had me hooked on this album, and kept my interest over the next 5 songs which are all very positive, uplifting and biblical, but slightly less catchy to me.
Finally, the last 2 songs grabbed me again. I LOVE their remake of the Hoobastank hit song “The Reason”. They are faithful to the original piano-based style of the song and the beautiful melody and confession. I have loved that song since it came out and have also considered it a song that can be sung to God in confession, “I’ve found a reason for me, to change who I used to be, a reason to start over new, and the reason is You”. The closing title song “My Coming Day” is an earnest prayer that came from Shane’s daily devotion and quiet time with the Lord.
I really, really like half of the songs a lot. The stand-out songs I’ve mentioned are top notch musically and lyrically. The other songs are also very strong lyrically, but to me not as catchy or original sounding in comparison. Fans of Rascal Flatts, 33Miles and Mark Schultz will really like the style of this album. Rock music fans will really enjoy “The Reason”. This is a very nice major label debut album and Julian Drive shows a lot of potential. “My Coming Day” is very message-oriented, clear and positive biblical Truth throughout and is definitely a strength of the album.
Julian Drive's Day will have to wait| Posted January 30, 2009
Anyone looking into Julian Drive’s résumé will invariably run into 2004 Exalting Him National Talent Search which the band won while prevailing against the 1999 other contestants. The eventual sighing with Inpop records led to their debut pop/rock/southern worship album My Coming Day.
While comparisons range from Casting Crowns, Mark Shultz, and Daughtry the obvious and under looked comparison to Julian Drive is 33 Miles. Shane Bowers’ lead vocals is very similar to that of 33 Miles front man Jason Barton, and the southern music is simply a little more up tempo with Julian Drive. The guitar driven pop sound in “In you” has southern sound to it but its too generic and the underwhelming “you can” sounds far too much like 33 miles. The first demanding song on the album, “cry” certainly got help from Bowers’ vocals but the song still lacked musically.
The aggressive medium rock “The fight is yours” did a solid job of keeping the emotion level high through the entire song and the Afters-“Never going back okay”-like tune “unplug” moved past it’s rough spots to be an enjoyable electronically charged pop/rock tune that is a more memorable song on the album. Sadly the strength of “the fight is yours” and “unplug” doesn’t translate into the rest of the album for the rock tracks. Representing the soft songs and ballads, the title track offers very little potential while it blends a more significant worship sound than most other songs on the album, although “the reason” offers a very intriguing piano light pop sound.
To their credit Julian drive offers a solid Biblically prospective in their songwriting. That aside, truth be told, originality is somewhat lacking in the lyrics. “From your hands” will almost certainly get questioningly glances with it’s very similar Tenth Avenue North “love is here” lyrics (‘True love was pouring from Your hands’). Solid, if not terribly deep, messages are passed along in the form of admiring Jesus while relating the messages of grace and hope “you can” and “from your hands”. “Unplug” takes a very electronic approach to pushing away things that interfere with our relationship with God (‘I turn around, I see Your face, open arms for my embrace/You were only one step away’).
If you think this analysis of My Coming Day has been a little harsh that’s okay because their lyrics are God filled and the music is not bad. The problem is that only a few songs venture out into deep categories as most of Julian Drives lyrics stay in shallow water (“my coming day”, “in you” and “one step away to name a few). As for the pop rock at its best it’s good but for the most part it stays at mediocre. I’d like to say My Coming Day is sure sign of future Juliann Drive efforts and a grand career but I can only hope.
Julian Drive's "My Coming Day": A Review| Posted January 08, 2009
by Kyle A. Kiekintveld
"My Coming Day" is a well put together album. It is hardly an overwhelming failure on any count other than execution. The target demographic seems to be a relatively young audience. The album is more aimed at commercial success than depth or emotional investment. If you are looking for an album with some heart to it, then simply stop reading now.
The album does not fail in production. It sounds solid. Nearly every cut is ready and worthy for radio play. It would be a struggle to credit the production for any failures in this album. Each instrument is perfectly placed. The instruments and voice match power in a perfect utilitarian dance.
"One Step Away", is the worse song in the album. It has a wonderfully mellow sound to it, yet the lyrics aren't strong enough to match the mellow instrumental backing. The title is a bit cliched but the lyrics pull out all the stops. The instrumental backing of this song is wonderful, yet the cliches are too continuous to ignore.
The best song in the album is hands down "The Reason", which is all around is strong, and has had fairly decent radio airplay. It is not ground breaking in lyrics or emotional depth, but it comes off as fair more heartfelt than most of the content of this album. I would highly recommend downloading the track.
This album isn't filled with horrible music by any stretch of the imagination. It all sounds crisp and very professionally done. Yet I am left with more questions than answers. What is the target demographic? Does this album even have a theme? The album seems like a collection of disjointed pop cuts with vaguely Christian overtones.
Author's Note: I question the purpose of this album, and the motivation behind the album. It isn't bad on grounds of the music. Yet it doesn't have much depth. I feel like with the growing 'Christian Entertainment' market, this album is an attempt to achieve commercial success. None of the songs are deeply religious. The album just feels disingenuous.
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
Not To Bad| Posted January 27, 2009
I will keep this brief. Overall, I thought the abulm had a great message to it. I thought the songs were upbeat for the most part. I was hoping for a bit more on the rock side but I was not disappointed at all. After the preview was over, I was surprised to see that the time flew when listening to their music. I would definently go get this CD as soon as I have the money.
My Coming Day by Julian Drive| Posted January 27, 2009
I liked this album better the more I listened to it. I am not sure if I just got use to this style of music or if the music in the album actually got beter. This album turned out to be better than I expected.