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Divine Invitation
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Rising from one of the largest college services in the nation, at The Flood in San Diego, comes Something Like Silas - a band that does worship music in a different way. The Flood and Something Like Silas are symbiotic - they were both born at the same time and are inexorably linked; all five members of Silas are a deeply involved in The Flood and play there at least two thirds of the weekends of the year. Services at The Flood are what is known as "emerging worship" - a post-modern style that emphasizes interaction and artistic expression in the midst of the worship and teaching. "We want to change the way people look at worship bands," says Eric Owyoung, the band's lead singer.

DIVINE INVITATION, then, is the perfect vehicle for Owyoung's stated mission. Though worshipful through and through, the record does not typify what we now understand to be modern worship, with the corporate, sing-a-long style choruses and easy to remember lyrics. DIVINE INVITATION is, in some ways, the anti-modern-worship worship album. It is moody, brooding, environmental, alternative, and impassioned. Musical influences, which flavor rather than dominate the production, range from The Violet Burning to Sixpence None the Richer to Radiohead and U2.

"Creation's Call" opens the album. A song based on Luke 19 - creation singing the praises of God - it is backed by searing, echoing guitars and moody production that create an ambience that sets the perfect backdrop for the expansive lyric. "Words That You Say" would perfectly open any worship service: "Speak in this close communion / though this hour seems timeless still / I wait for Your words that bid me come."

The title track starts out being carried by soft, prayerful keyboards. The production builds, slowly adding more layers, more vocals, a guitar, and then layers of guitars and percussion, until the chorus is carried by a haunting, crying voice that perfectly expresses the longing of the chorus for the embrace of God.

"When I Search," an all-out rocker, is another moment where Silas turns the stereotypes of contemporary Christian music on their ear, talking not about what we know as Christians but rather the process, and the discovery that "when I search for you every day / I found how whole you make me." The band's cover of "Better Is One Day" is excellent and truly gives this now too-often recorded song new life, though in the midst of so much originality from the band this one seems a bit out of place.

Color me impressed. This is, hands down, one of the best albums of the past year. The more I listen to it the more impressed I become. Something Like Silas breaks the mold of what worship music can and should sound like; beyond that, DIVINE INVITATION is simply a fantastic alt-rock record. San Diego already lays claim to two great national bands - P.O.D. and Switchfoot. The count is now up to three.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Man, if Something like Silas would have come out a couple of years earlier then Eric Owyoung's vocals could have been called unique and sound like no other's. Well his vocals are still very unique but he sounds a lot like David Crowder which is a good thing. This band is so hard to categorize because their lyrics can be considered worship lyrics but then when you get to the style of singing and music you could possibly talk about emo or atmospheric rock in the same vein as Coldplay or Radiohead. Well anyways let us go beyond categorizing them. Owyoung's vocals are very passionate and very honest and his vocals epitomize beautiful for masculine vocals. Then he has the angelic vocals of his wife, Melina backing him up. The cd starts off on a strong note with the song "Creation's Call". It slowly builds from quiet verses to a heavenly chorus with pulsating vocals. There is actually a noisy guitar solo in this song so that takes this band away from the worship genre. Then the second song "Words that you say" is a emotional ballad to God. Another song that sticks out in my mind is "In the burning" which is a very, very, passionate song about God's passion. Again it starts off with a quiet first verse and then it builds up slowly into the chorus and then it gets more edgy on the second verse. Finally it builds into a powerful ending. Eric Owyoung's vocals are tense and beautiful at the same time. And the production is really well done by Steve Hindalong who has produced one of my favorite bands, Cool Hand Luke so you know Something like Silas has got to be something special for Hindalong to produce them. If you like worship music then check these guys out but then if you like some nice atmospheric rock then also check these guys out. God bless.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
SLS has a sound all their own. The fact that this cd was produced by two members of the greatest Christian alternative band of all time, "The Choir", only adds to the depth of their music. Simply put, there is not a single bad song on here. "When I Search" and "Creation's Call" are two incredible rockers. "Weight of the World" is a short (less than two minutes) but intimate song (just wish it'd been longer). "In the Burning" is one of my favorites, with incredible minor chords that make this a dark yet rocking one. The last two songs "Better is One Day" and "I Fall" flow seamlessly into one another. While "Better" has been done to death, SLS gives it a unique sound, and "I Fall" will grab you and haunt you for the rest of the day.
If you are a fan of "The Choir", "Prayer Chain", "The Violet Burning", or similar Christian alt bands, this is what you've been waiting for. Eric Owyoung's vocals are honest, and his wife Malina's backing vocal "touches" make this one a definite keeper. This band is great! Oh, and if you ever get the chance to see these guys in person, get there.
Highest recommendation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
...which is a VERY good thing, since "Divine Invitation" effortlessly invites the listener to experience God-worship in a refreshingly whole new way. And that's always a good thing.

Worship albums have to be the most oversaturated CCM ("contemporary Christian music") product out there, and thus, many of those projects are very hit-or-miss by nature: either you like it (or most of it) or you wish you never bought it. "Divine Invitation" is most certainly the former, PLUS a whole lot more. This is one of those rare "comes-once-in-a-very-long-time" albums that, I can truly say with all my heart, will treasure for as long as I will listen to music. Period.

Each of the 11 tracks (including an earnestly unique rendition of "Better Is One Day") is laid out with a lush, epic soundscape of the U2 and Coldplay kind. This quality of sound and music is, to me, extremely rare and unprecedented in a "worship" album.

Lyrically, it's honest, searing, heartfelt stuff that doesn't "talk down" to believers. That's another thing that stood out for me.

There's really no particular standout song that defines the album...especially since they're ALL standouts to me.

Truly, just like a previous reviewer said, "Divine Invitation" is more than just "worship"...you just gotta hear it and

e-x-p-e-r-i-e-n-c-e it for yourself. If you, for some freakish reason, don't like it, just sell me your copy.

If you're tired of the same old rehashed and repackaged sound that's being mega-mass-produced in today's bookstores and Christian music section of Wal-Mart....and LONG to "sing to the Lord a n-e-w song", THIS is it. Bonus points for having three Asian band members (including the lead vocals/guitar guy)!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is very unusual when a band puts together a grouping of songs that display both passion and talent on each track. With "Divine Invitation," Something Like Silas has done just that. With wonderful, creative songwriting, heavenly subtleties (from the background vocals and soft piano runs, to cascades of perfectly placed guitar sections) and solid production, the disk is a surprisingly great rock album. From the opening moments of "Creation's Call," to the soft, hidden piano bringing the twelve track symphony to its end, "Divine Invitation" doesn't let up. Highlights include the longing of "Spirit Waltz," the deep emotion of "In the Burning," and the absolutely perfect ending to the well-known "Better Is One Day."

The few shortcomings in the album spring from a lack of creativity. While the band's talent is evident, there is a very real sense that Something Like Silas did not want to take too many risks. It is completely understandable, for a band that found its first label in Sparrow, that they want to play it safe. But it would have been nice to hear some off-kilter changes, or perhaps strip some songs down so that we get a look inside who they really are.

However, Something Like Silas has created a perfect stepping stone for their next release, and in doing so have created one of the best albums of 2004; Christian or otherwise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
man. intimate. meaningful. powerful. all for the Glory of God

awesome tune too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Something like Silas provides powerful soul searching music that has inspired me, enabling me to find peace and myself when I was in the depths of dispare- through God and their powerful music.

What you hear on this CD only touches the surface of their abilities to inspire and revive our souls through Christ our Lord. They have many more songs, just waiting to be released. I feel One day Something Like Silas will be viewed to be a classic group.
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on October 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Something Like Silas is an awesome group of talents. The bass is very melodic and the drums are soft and the vocals fit right into the mood of the music, which is very soothing. original melodys, unlike some albums where you think you heard the same song 3 times.

as far as the lyrics, the writing is wonderful because it has a warmhearted feel to it. alot of groups tend to have the same lyrics as all the other popular worship lyrics, but Something Like Silas is more original and personal. However, i think they will be more appealing if they are even more original with their lyrics because the audience that they reach are looking for more than whats popular.

Eric has a very gifted voice. in the song, "In the Beggining", we get to hear how gifted Melina is too. i hope to hear more of Melina's voice in addition to Eric's voice in their future albums.

They have been playing at my church's worship service, many times, and its awesome to know how humble they are. they really have a love to serve God.

this cd grew on me, and if this is the first time youve heard of this band, then buy this cd. im sure youll appreciate Something Like Silas and want others to know about them too!

---Morrocco---1st Place---that's right.
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on February 7, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I took a chance on Something Like Silas because they came up as a "try if you like..." selection for one of my all-time favorite bands, The Violet Burning. I knew that this was essentially a worship disc and while I do like some contemporary worship and praise music I am very picky about it and don't tend to gravitate toward it. (One of my favorite worship albums is TVB's "Faith and Devotion of a Satellite Heart".) I'm glad that I picked this one up. The lyrics are uplifting but knowing; there is a heaviness to some of them not unlike some of the biblical Psalms. There is also a lot of rest in these songs as there is the hope and knowledge of heaven in them. There is also the expressed yearning for God's embrace ("Divine Invitation") and the music and vocals take their time in building up to high points. There are songs that invite singing along and others that draw you down into contemplation and not a bad song in the bunch. I enjoy the diversity on the disc. Classify this as an alternative worship CD. Some highlights: "Divine Invitation"; "In the Burning", a song which would fit well on any college or alternativve radio station; the rousing "Better Is One Day"; and the pensive closer "I Fall".
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on March 15, 2007
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
This is a great CD for anyone who likes alternative praise music like David Crowder. They preach good messages but there kind of praise is different from the Hillsong United stuff that people sing at church which is neither good nor bad. I especially like the first song Creation's Call and the sixth song When I search. Also it is about time they had a Christian Band with Asian People in it.
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