CD REVIEW: The Sunrise - Spread the Word
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Contemporary Christian, Earthy Alternative Rock, R&B
Sounds Like: Honeytree, The Resurrection Band, The Sweet Comfort Band
Technical Grade: 7/10
More Instrumentation, More vocal passion, winded songs
Husband and wife contemporary Christian duo James and Rebecca Mileti are bringing Jesus to the forefront on their debut release titled Spread The Word. The Sunrise is taking a trip back to the 70s, but don’t be mistaken because these two musicians are not performing to the tune of peace & love hippies. They are playing & singing for one person only and that is God.
The CD takes flight with Track 1 “Old & Faded” a slow building into piece that flows & ebbs its way through to emotional fruition with its delicate acoustical rhythm, inspiring lyrical content & hypnotic vocal groove from Mileti. Track 2 “The Way to live” is an upbeat follow up piece that serves up upbeat rock groove against slamming bass guitar chops, easy flowing guitar rhythms & hooky vocal melodies. Track 3 “Holt Light dishes out yet another thought provoking piece of music with well-placed harmonies & catchy guitar ambience & it’d uplifting message of hope. The CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 impressive songs in a row. As the CD slowly unfolds, I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of such classic contemporary Christian acts that were popular in the late 70s & 80’s like Honeytree, The Resurrection Band, & The Sweet Comfort Band. It definitely has a positive message via the music which is an impressive blend of earthy progressive rock & alternative rock. Mileti’s voice goes down smooth & is full of passion, hope & bold straightforwardness. The musicianship from all the session players involved is world class. Also present besides the 4 piece standard you will notice impressive Hammond Organ chops, lush vocal harmonies, & well placed percussion & keyboard accents along the way. The songs themselves are extremely dynamic, & progressive in nature. The songwriting is extremely creative & highly original. Each song possessing a unique personality, flair & signature groove. Many of the songs are a personal testament of sorts that provide much in the way of thought provoking wisdom, hope & the endless possibilities as a byproduct of being repent full. I especially like how the whole CD just flows across the ears song for song & note for note - each piece interconnected with the next. From my personal favorite “Seashell World” to slamming “Don’t tell me your Spiritual” & “I Got Freedom” to heartfelt “I Love my Wife” & “Ther is a Faith” to dynamic “Random Acts” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Spread the Word” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
It’s hard to find any noticeable weaknesses with a production. I would however offer up 2 items. Perhaps more instrumentation is needed to bring more musical variety to the table. Things like percussive accents, solos, horns, sonic touches, strings, fiddles, harmonica, flutes, piano, keyboard anything to spice up the production a bit more thus making it less dry. Perhaps more vocal risks & emotional passion are needed for some of the final moments of the music. All songs over 4 ½ minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
Overall Spread the Word by The Sunrise is a very genuine & pure catalogue of music. Fans of contemporary Christian music with a late 70s' psychedelic flair will no doubt love this one. Its strong suit – the amazing amount of originality, creativity & musical diversity this couple has to offer. Like the aforementioned I especially enjoyed the song for song musical flow of the production as a whole. All in all The Sunrise stands out from other contemporary Christian bands in my mind with their unique signature sound, slamming grooves & unique approach in delivering a message that doesn’t come across as feeling under duress or artificial. This is what makes them so effective in delivering their message to the world.