A Favourable Debut
Posted March 26, 2013
By SarahFine_NRT, Staff Reviewer
There's little an up-and-coming act can do that would impress the likes of the industry's most seasoned veterans, especially when the seasoned veteran at hand is none other than tobyMac, an artist who's been there, done that and bought the t-shirt to prove it. So you can imagine how surprising it might be to hear that an unknown group of guys by the name of Finding Favour literally rendered him speechless.
Upon hearing a demo of the group's song, "Slip On By," Toby was deeply moved, saying that he walked out of the studio that day wanting to live his life differently from that point forward because of how it affected him. Needless to say, the band left their mark in a big way.
With a heart connection in place, it would only seem fitting that Toby would welcome them onto Gotee Records, the label he co-founded in 1993, with open arms. Preparing for a full length release, the group that is already turning heads in the industry has released their five song Finding Favour EP as a formal introduction to fans worldwide.
The folksy "Shake The World" is a bold, anthemic start to the EP. Dedicated to all of the hurting and confused people in the world, the song encourages them to rise up from defeat and become confident in the person God has created them to be.
Piano driven "Love Stepped In" builds momentum is strides along, and captures a brilliant portion of songwriting by the band on the theme of God as the redeemer of our once shattered lives.
The song that started it all, "Slip On By," comes next, and doesn't take long for the listener to understand exactly what Toby was saying when he states he was deeply moved. Paired with a fantastic string arrangement, the song was inspired by conversations lead vocalist Blake NeeSmith had with his grandfather, who encouraged him from experience, not to not let life's biggest blessings slip past him in the pursuit of his dreams: "I was young and thought I'd always be / Then I woke up, now I'm 83 / There's so much I missed / Oh, how I wish I could get back all that time I wasted."
"Hallelujah We Shall Rise" is a beautifully written worship tune, looking forward to the day Christ comes to claim His church: "When we finally reach that place, when we fall before Your throne / There will be no more pain, and all our sorrows will be gone."
"Hero" talks about how everyone has someone who is willing to fight for them, even when they don't realize it. It stands as the strongest cut musically, taking a more pop/rock approach as opposed to the previous tracks. With a few minor tweaks, I could see it being a successful radio single. Ending the all too brief EP on a strong note, "I Am" is a moving love song from poured out from the heart of the Savior.
Finding Favour is a band that boasts songwriting abilities far beyond their years. Expert storytellers, their crafty way of weaving words has a way of gripping your heart and not letting go. For that, I highly commend them. Musically, the waters are a tad choppy, and I do feel the band is stylistically better suited for tracks like "Hero" and "Slip On By," but regardless of which path they take, there's no doubt they will be bringing something credible to the table. This EP is not to be missed… take my word for it.
Song to Download Now:
"Slip On By" (Get it on iTunes here
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