Tenth Avenue North [The Light Meets The Dark]
Posted May 11, 2010
By KevinDavis_NRT, Staff Reviewer
In the two years since its national label debut with Over And Underneath, Tenth Avenue North has become a radio fixture with back to back hit songs “Love Is Here” and “By Your Side” and back to back Dove Awards for New Artist of the year and Song of the year. Tenth Avenue North’s anticipated sophomore project, The Light Meets the Dark, is a great collection of confessional and authentic expressions of faith. It appears that the success of the band has allowed them to creatively express themselves and for me that has really paid off with an improved second album. The album’s themes are brokenness, healing and mercy. Once again the songs are poignant and powerful, and in recording the new tunes, the band brings a more seasoned level of musicianship and intensity, reminding me of Robbie Seay Band, Coldplay and Seabird lyrically and musically.
The first single “Healing Begins” encapsulates the theme of the new album. It’s where the title of the record comes from. It’s basically about confession -- confessing your sins to one another that you might be healed, which is a scary thing to do. You can believe in God and love God, but confessing the things that you keep secret and hold on to -- that keep you tied to your past and weigh you down --confessing those things is not easy. The opening four tracks, all released as singles already, are all among the best songs I’ve heard on any album in the past few years. “Strong Enough To Save” and “You Are More” kept me hooked lyrically as Mike’s vocals are very engaging and I was able to relate to every theme. “The Truth Is Who You Are” really grabbed me musically as the guitar part at the end of the song reminds me of “Fix You” by Coldplay, one of my all-time favorite songs. “Empty My Hands” is a gorgeous ballad and the closing track “Oh My Dear” is a story-song written from Mike to his wife about her confession to him.
Lead singer Mike Donehey describes The Light Meets the Dark this way: “We wanted it to be a collision between our hearts and God’s truth. Sparks will fly. His grace collides with the dark inside of us. His blood can cover us and I’m trying to call people out and say ‘Look, please do not hide your darkness. Expose that to the light.’ I know that’s the scariest thought, but it’s where freedom and healing start to take place. It’s where it all starts to happen.”
The Light Meets the Dark is a great second album from a band that continues to improve. It will be hard to not rank this album in my top 10 albums of 2010. For me the stand-out songs are “Healing Begins,” “Strong Enough To Save,” “You Are More,” “The Truth Is Who You Are” and “Empty My Hands.” With one listen to The Light Meets The Dark it is obvious Mike Donehey, Jeff Owen and Jason Jamison are taking a bold step forward on their musical journey.
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