Thursday, August 16, 2012

Burning Like The Midnight Sun

I'm going back into the archives on this one, Folks. There aren't many times that I will reach back two years to do a review, but this is a special case.

First a little backstory. Soon after this blog was started I decided to come up with my own Music Awards, which I entitled the Platinum Vinyl Awards. We are now in the process of winding up the eligibility for our THIRD YEAR. And since the reach of this blog continues to grow, it wont be long before I dethrone the Doves (Waa-ha-ha).

Burning Like The Midnight Sun wreaked havok on the judging at the Inaugural Award Ceremony. It caused a split award, and there were two alternative winners, Vessels by Ivoryline shared the honors. It's release in 2010 marked the end of a five year hiatus by the band. Their previous release had been 2005's O How The Mighty Have Fallen.

The band starts right off with the title cut, somewhat unconventional in the biz, but of course, there is nothing conventional about The Choir in the first place. (By the way, I did a totally unscientific and random survey from my CD Collection. Of 10 Albums Picked at Random which had a Title Cut, the average was track 4 for the location of a title cut. You have to love the words of this song, however, which in a way is a defiant, anti-retirement song.
I'm not goin' down behind the mountain, I'm Never gonna fade away. I'm burnin' like the midnight sun. I'm not gonna sink into the ocean. Baby I'm here to stay. I'm burning' like the midnight sun. Burnin' like the midnight sun. I'm not going down.
Here's the song, via soundcloud
Of course the trademark of all songs by The Choir is what I call melodic guitar. Derri Daugherty plays his guitar with such a high key that you "hear" the guitar, where it usually just blends in to the music with other bands. It is a truly ethereal experience.

In addition to the title cut, the Daugherty and company tackle topics as diverse as Lost Love (That Melancholy Ghost), The TSA (Mr. Chandler), Death (A Friend So Kind), Christian Love (The Word Inside The Word and It Should Have Been Obvious) and a haunting ballad on Growing Up, done with little more than a pounding Piano and triangle, entitled Say Goodbye to Neverland.

There seems to be a need to issue a warning for everything, and there is somewhat of a need here. Though there is no language parental advisory, as this is a Christian Band, these guys are not ashamed to admit that they enjoy a fine cigar from time to time. For example, in Mr. Chandler, which recounts a ticketing snafu at an airport, they recount that after their ordeal, they "fired up four smokey treats". Also, in a Friend So Kind, their view of heaven is that their friend is "Forever smoking fine cigars at the table of the Lord". Not your average Christian View, and I like it.

When it originally came out I was unable to preview the entire album and so I passed it along on the basis of 30 second bites. Now that I have it I am not ashamed to say that this was worthy of winning, and should be given a 5 Emerald Rating for 2010. It is a must have album in your collection if you are a fan of real alternative music. As always, I hope you will click through the links and buy through Amazon and support The Night Beat at the same time.

If you read my recent announcement, you know that Flashback Friday will be on hiatus for August. I will return with the column after the Labor Day Holiday. Until next time, I am Awaiting Your Reply.