(June 20, 2000)
Overall Rating: ++++
Most Christian rock bands would love to say their music is unique. Unlike anything else on the market. One of a kind. After a quick listen to the eclectic Kaleidoscope Superior by Earthsuit, you'll realize this band can't be pigeonholed into any single category. And you won't see any sounds-like-so-and-so comparisons with these guys.
looking for some simple ear candy, fuhgeddaboutit. You won't find it
here. With an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hybrid fusion of funk,
jazz, reggae, rock, rap, hip-hop, and pop (whew!), Earthsuit delivers
a blow-away debut recording. Says keyboardist and background vocalist
Paul Meany, "When we play for a first-time audience, their usual
reaction is an open mouth and a 'What the heck is this?' We love to
catch people's attention, and we love to catch them off guard."
Mission accomplished, bro!
project was produced by David Leonard, who's worked with the likes of
John Mellancamp, Toto, and Prince. His expertise manifests itself in
the end product--a beautifully cohesive album that's careful not to
get lost in the minutia of its incredible diversity.
also songs aplenty that will have your head bobbing and your feet
tapping. Perhaps the best piece of all is "Wonder," a shimmery funk
offering about "embracing core realities that are beyond our
understanding," explains Meany. "Sometimes it feels like a waste of
time trying to figure it all out. That shouldn't discourage us,
though. It should put us in a state of awe. This is a song about
embracing that awe and adoring the wonder."
In a time when the integrity and originality of Christian music seems to be squelched in pursuit of the formula that creates the hottest new act, the debut album, Kaleidoscope Superior by Earthsuit crashes through any hype and reminds the world what creativity in music truly is. It has been a long time since I have come across such an amazing and powerful debut album from a band that almost seems like an overnight sensation. In reality, they have been together for five years and have released 2 independant EPs. After they landed a spot in the Cornerstone Festival last year they were signed to Sparrow Records.
The sound of Earthsuit is a diverse blend of musical styles including jazz, reggae, hard rock, hip-hop, techno, and more, all with a unique set of vocals added on top. The result sounds something like taking the Newsboys, Bob Marley, the Echoing Green, P. O. D., Project 86, dc Talk, U2, and Soul Coughing and throwing them all into a blender. Even that mix fails to capture Earthsuit's originality.
"We're not simply cramming all these different styles into our music for the sake of proving we can play complex arrangements," says bass player Roy Mitchell. "For us, it's about trying, in some small way, to reflect the creativity of God. That's really how the album title ties in. The 'kaleidoscope superior' is the diversity of God, all the things He's shown us and taught us over a period of five years."
Each song on this album is entrancing and paints a scene for the listener. Songs like 'Whitehorse' capture the story of the book of Revelation in the closest thing to a ballad Earthsuit has recorded. You're reminded of the power and the glory of God in 'Sky Flashings.' 'One Time' seems to be the band having a party for Jesus. My personal favorite song, 'Osmosis Land,' is a chilling song that reminds me of the battle of a Christian.
Throughout this entire album Earthsuit is portraying how small and insignificant humans truly are and how great and glorious our God is. That excites me. Serving such an amazing God helps remind me how to live. Mitchell best expressed the mission of the band when he said, "If nothing else, I hope that when people come away from listening to the album or seeing us play live they get a sense of the passion and excitement there is in serving Him. We feel blessed to be able to pour out this gift." Listening to this CD is truly a humbling experience.
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