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The Loudest Sound Ever Heard

April 28, 2014 | Format: MP3

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Format: MP3 Music
It's been said that in the music business, indie is the new major. Artists are experimenting with new models of funding, recording, touring and sharing their music in ways that confound many large labels, and give artists the freedom to forge new paths to connect their music to fans. It's within this landscape that iconic alternative rock band The Choir, alums of the major label system, returns with their latest full-length album, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard, their 14th, on their own Galaxy 21 label.

Produced by The Choir, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard is classically "The Choir" in its sonic textures. Long time bass player Tim Chandler delivers his trademark melodic yet off-kilter playing, while Dan Michaels adds sax and Lyricon flourishes that are complemented by Marc Byrd's shimmering guitar counterpoint. The album's closing track, "After All", features a stunning duet between Daugherty and Sixpence None The Richer's Leigh Nash, in what will no doubt become a signature song for the band. The album also features some of Hindalong's most uplifting and direct lyrics in his nearly 30 years of writing with Daugherty.

Says Hindalong of this set of songs, "our time on this planet is very short, and that reminds us of the importance of life - to celebrate every breath we breathe. So there's a song called 'Learning To Fly' that makes a reference to the Krakatoa volcanic explosion - and in the context of that, we're here to learn to love, and we need to live everyday in the immediate. I really was trying to be more universal with the lyrics on this album - I wanted the songs to be such that everyone could own them. The last album, the songs were very specific - 'Old Man Byrd', 'Mr.
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Format: MP3 Music
It's funny how differently people view something. I had read a review elswhere that found this album "redundant" and "boring". Admittedly, I have listened to The Choir since the Youth Choir days so perhaps I am not a good judge regarding this album. I find it very rich, deep, much more broadly accessible than some of the earlier albums. Both lyrically and musically I hear it as the strongest, most vulnerable and honest these guys have ever been.

I find that I actually have been listening to this album over and over and discovering songs that I hadn't really noticed initially like "Oh How" and "The Forest". There is a tenderness lying in these tracks that I don't often hear in music. An ability to relate to the listener that turns this recording into a personal, cautionary and caring letter. With this album The Choir freely admits they are one of us with struggles, hurts, joys, all of it. That has been relayed in previous albums but I would say never so openly and effectively as they somehow manage on "TLSEH". This is not just seasoned muscians going through the motions by any means. They share their weaknesses and shortcomings and express a record's worth of mercy, grace, and hope.

These songs almost require you to stop and listen. That doesn't happen often as we rush from place to place, listening to the same 20 three minute sprints on the radio. Songs like "Cross That River", "A World Away", and "After All" ask that you pay close attention and not just let the music flow past as simply background. This is not an album for a multi-tasking generation. You may find yourself in prayerful meditation shedding more than a few tears at times as healing is presented in such a masterful way.
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Format: MP3 Music
While listening to the track "Learning to Fly" on the commentary disc of the new Choir opus, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard, drummer/lyricist, Steve Hindalong recalls asking his wife for advice for a lyric because he just wants to write something that is true. Truth is a great signifier for this trailblazing band who, over the course of its 30 year career has sought creative and, sometimes, painful ways to illuminate the truth of Jesus Christ, of the destitution of the human condition and the place where these two elements intersect. Each album has been artistically truthful to where the band resided, musically, at the time of release..... with the possible exception of 1986's Diamonds and Rain which featured a more overtly commercial tone (courtesy of label mandated producer, Charlie Peacock) both musically and lyrically, though, hardly callously so as it is still a great album. With a more obviously encouraging tone than any album since then, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard echoes the bands finest work by mining the deep well of humanity's vagaries to find solutions to the sinfulness that plagues us all. In typical "Skinny" fashion, Hindalong shines a transparent light on his own fallen nature, in particular, a recent admission of his own 20+ year struggle with alcohol and the peace & restoration that has come from the spiritual healing found in the 12 step program he has attended for the past year. "Learning to Fly" recounts the 19th century explosion of the Indonesian volcano, Krakatoa, which is purported by scientists to be the actual loudest sound ever heard. This serves as a metaphor for the fragility and ephemerality of life as Hindalong urges listeners to "celebrate every breath we breathe", living life like you could be experiencing your last day.Read more ›
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