Friday, December 12, 2003

Obscure CD Review of the Week: "Satellite Soul"

I was in my local neighborhood CD Warehouse franchise, when I came across a mini clearance section in the "Religious" music rack. I found Satellite Soul's self-titled debut from way back in 1997 ("ah, that was a good year"). I wasn't familiar with their music offhand, but I figured, for four bucks, I can give it a spin.

I was truly impressed. First of all, I recognized three of the first four songs from listening to Lightforce Radio here in Houston (for you OK kids, it's like 91 FM, but only for three hours a week on our local "contemporary" Christian station). And the rest of the album is excellent as well.

I have always had this notion that Christian music, stylistically, is about 3 or 4 years behind mainstream music. Not to be a (total) slam on the dulcet tones piped out of Christendom, but it's as though the Christian artists listen to the radio and think "that's neat, I'll try that on the next album." Which for some bands (I'm talking to you, DC Talk) takes about five years to do anyway.

So yeah. Satellite Soul's 1997 debut catapulted me back to the early-to-mid-nineties. The closest approximation I can make is that they sound A LOT like Gin Blossoms, although the lead singer's vocals sometimes take on a Flaming Lips quality. But yeah, they are channeling a lot of Gin Blossoms (and I'm pretty sure they totally ripped off the riff from "Allison Road"). But it's a lot of fun, with some really nice sounds. They break out the harmonica regularly, and even incorporate a hammer dulcimer on a few tracks.

Satellite Soul's debut album is solid, with a comfortable, easygoing sound, reminiscent of Gin Blossoms, Smalltown Poets, and Big Tent Revival. It is worth buying, especially if you can get it for four bucks.

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